1. bookVolume 29 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
30 Jul 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Central European Tourist Flows: Intraregional Patterns and Their Implications

Published Online: 31 Dec 2021
Page range: 278 - 291
Received: 12 Nov 2020
Accepted: 05 Dec 2021
Journal Details
First Published
30 Jul 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Understanding tourist spatial behaviours is essential for strategic planning and sustainable development. Especially at the city-level, data provide implications for spatial planning and transport governance. Intraregional tourist flows to cities contributed significantly to the total volume of tourists within the Central European region before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Given the challenges that urban tourism is currently facing, intraregional tourist flows could be a strategic opportunity for future growth. As a comprehensive assessment of the tourist flows at this spatial level is lacking, the paper aims to evaluate the structure of these flows and discuss the factors that influence their spatial distribution. Statistical data analysis of tourist flows to selected cities in Central Europe is evaluated by multiple linear regression. The results show that the main factors affecting the distribution of tourist flows are air connection, the attractiveness of the destination, and the size of the source market. Tourist flows within Central Europe are fundamentally affected by Germany. This market can be considered the most important source of demand for inbound tourism. Germany's national ties with Austria and Switzerland generated 47% of all trips examined. In this case, the influences of historical ties and the broader socio-economic context are evident.


ALBALATE, D., CAMPOS, J., JIMÉNEZ, J. L. (2017): Tourism and high speed rail in Spain: Does the AVE increase local visitors? Annals of Tourism Research, 65: 71–82.10.1016/j.annals.2017.05.004Search in Google Scholar

ALBALATE, D., FAGEDA, X. (2016). High speed rail and tourism: Empirical evidence from Spain. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 85: 174–185.Search in Google Scholar

ASLAN, S., DINÇER, M. Z. (2018): A Conceptual Framework of Visiting Friends and Relatives. Journal of Tourismology, 4(1): 21–34.Search in Google Scholar

BALÁŽ, V., WILLIAMS, A. M. (2005): International tourism as bricolage: an analysis of Central Europe on the brink of European Union membership. International Journal of Tourism Research, 7(2): 79–93.10.1002/jtr.514Search in Google Scholar

BERITELLI, P., REINHOLD, S., LAESSER, C. (2020): Visitor flows, trajectories and corridors: Planning and designing places from the traveller’s point of view. Annals of Tourism Research, 82: 1–13.10.1016/j.annals.2020.102936Search in Google Scholar

BOZIC, S., KENNELL, J., VUJICIC, M. D., JOVANOVIC, T. (2017): Urban tourist motivations: why visit Ljubljana? International Journal of Tourism Cities, 3(4): 382–398.10.1108/IJTC-03-2017-0012Search in Google Scholar

CAMAGNI, R., CAPELLO, R., CARAGLIU, A. (2015): The Rise of Second-Rank Cities: What Role for Agglomeration Economies? European Planning Studies, 23(6): 1069–1089.10.1080/09654313.2014.904999Search in Google Scholar

CHUNG, M. G., HERZBERGER, A., FRANK, K. A., LIU, J. (2020): International Tourism Dynamics in a Globalized World: A Social Network Analysis Approach. Journal of Travel Research, 59(3): 387–403.10.1177/0047287519844834Search in Google Scholar

CZSO (2019): Public Database [statistics]. Collective accommodation establishments [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://vdb.czso.cz/vdbvo2/faces/en/index.jsf?page=statistiky#katalog=31739Search in Google Scholar

DAS, D., SHARMA, S. K., MOHAPATRA, P. K., SARKAR, A. (2007): Factors influencing the attractiveness of a tourist destination: A case study. Journal of Services Research, 7(1): 103–134.Search in Google Scholar

DE SIMONE, E., CANALE, R. R., DI MAIO, A. (2019): Do UNESCO World Heritage Sites Influence International Tourist Arrivals? Evidence from Italian Provincial Data. Social Indicators Research, 146: 345–359.10.1007/s11205-018-1939-7Search in Google Scholar

DESTATIS (2019): Gastgewerbe, Tourismus: Ubernachtungen in Beherberungsbetrieben [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Branchen-Unternehmen/Gastgewerbe-Tourismus/_inhalt.htmlSearch in Google Scholar

DUMBROVSKÁ, V., FIALOVÁ, D. (2014): Tourist intensity in capital cities in Central Europe: Comparative analysis of tourism in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Czech Journal of Tourism, 3(1): 5–26.10.2478/cjot-2014-0001Search in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2019): Culture statistics [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3217494/10177894/KS-01-19-712-EN-N.pdf/915f828b-daae-1cca-ba54-a87e90d6b68b?t=1571393532000Search in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021a): Urban Audit – Culture and tourism – cities and greater cities – Number of bed-places in tourist accommodation establishments [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/URB_CTOUR__custom_1237092/default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021b): Tourism statistics – Nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Tourism_statistics_-_nights_spent_at_tourist_accommodation_establishmentsSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021c): Main population – Population by age group (tps00010) [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tps00010/default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021d): Main population – Population on 1 January (tps00001) [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tps00001/default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021e): Economy and finance – GDP per capita in PPS (tec00114) [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tec00114/ default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021f): Urban Audit – City Statistics: Population on 1 January by age groups and sex – functional urban areas [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/urb_lpop1/default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021g): Air Transport – Airline traffic data by main airport [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/AVIA_PAOAC__custom_1251681/default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021h): METROREG – Economic Accounts by metropolitan regions [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/MET_10R_3GDP__custom_1236660/default/table?lang=enSearch in Google Scholar

EUROSTAT (2021i): Urban Audit – City Statistics: Population on 1 January by age groups and sex – cities and greater cities [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/cities/data/databaseSearch in Google Scholar

FERRANTE, M., ABBRUZZO, A., DE CANTIS, S. (2017): Graphical models for estimating network determinants of multi-destination trips in Sicily. Tourism Management Perspectives, 22: 109–119.10.1016/j.tmp.2017.03.004Search in Google Scholar

FSO (2019): Major regions: Hotel accommodation: monthly overnight stays by major region, 2019–2020 [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/ bfs/en/home/statistics/tourism/tourist-accommodation/ hotel-accommodation/major-regions.htmlSearch in Google Scholar

GUIRAO, B., CAMPA, J. L. (2014): The construction of a HSR network using a ranking methodology to prioritise corridors. Land Use Policy, 38: 290–299.10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.11.017Search in Google Scholar

HALL, D. (2000): Cross-border movement and the dynamics of transition processes in Southeastern Europe. GeoJournal, 50(2/3): 249–253.10.1023/A:1007153615095Search in Google Scholar

HALL, D. R. (1991): Tourism and economic development in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. London, Belhaven Press.Search in Google Scholar

HÄUFLER, V. (1955): Horské oblasti v Československu a jejich využití. Prague, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.Search in Google Scholar

HSCO (2019): Time series of annual data – Tourism, catering [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://www.ksh. hu/stadat_annual_4_5_oSearch in Google Scholar

ICCA (2019): 2018 ICCA Statistics Report: Country & City Rankings [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: http:// www.iccaworld.org/dcps/doc.cfm?docid=2321Search in Google Scholar

IPK INTERNATIONAL (2020): ITB World Travel Trends Report 2020 online]. [cit. 10.08.2021]. Available at: https://www.itb.com/itb/downloads-englisch/itb-world-travel-trends-report-2020.pdfSearch in Google Scholar

IVY, R. L., COPP, C. B. (1999): Tourism patterns and problems in East Central Europe. Tourism Geographies, 1(4): 425–442.10.1080/14616689908721335Search in Google Scholar

JANSEN-VERBEKE, M., SPEE, R. (1995): A regional analysis of tourist flows within Europe. Tourism Management, 16(1): 73–80.10.1016/0261-5177(95)93433-WSearch in Google Scholar

KANG, S., LEE, G., KIM, J., PARK, D. (2018): Identifying the spatial structure of the tourist attraction system in South Korea using GIS and network analysis: An application of anchor-point theory. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, 9: 358–370.10.1016/j.jdmm.2018.04.001Search in Google Scholar

KHALID, U., OKAFOR, L. E., SANUSI, O. I. (2021): Exploring Diverse Sources of Linguistic Influence on International Tourism Flows. Journal of Travel Research, 00(0): 1–19.10.1177/0047287520988909Search in Google Scholar

KHAN, S. A. R., QIANLI, D., SONGBO, W., ZAMAN, K., ZHANG, Y. (2017): Travel and tourism competitiveness index: The impact of air transportation, railways transportation, travel and transport services on international inbound and outbound tourism. Journal of Air Transport Management, 58: 125–134.10.1016/j.jairtraman.2016.10.006Search in Google Scholar

KRAFT, S., HAVLÍKOVÁ, D. (2016): Anytime? Anywhere? The seasonality of flight offers in Central Europe. Moravian Geographical Reports, 24(4): 26–37.10.1515/mgr-2016-0020Search in Google Scholar

KREŠIĆ, D., PREBEŽAC, D. (2011): Index of destination attractiveness as a tool for destination attractiveness assessment. Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 59(4): 497–517.Search in Google Scholar

KULENDRAN, N., KING, M. L. (1997): Forecasting international quarterly tourist flows using error-correction and time-series models. International Journal of Forecasting, 13(3): 319–327.10.1016/S0169-2070(97)00020-4Search in Google Scholar

LESJAK, M., NAVRÁTIL, J., PÍCHA, K., GILLIAM, V. L. W. B. (2015): The Predictors of the Willingness to Recommend a Visit for Diversified Tourism Attractions. Czech Journal of Tourism, 4(2): 77–90.10.1515/cjot-2015-0005Search in Google Scholar

LEW, A., MCKERCHER, B. (2006): Modelling tourist movements: A local destination analysis. Annals of Tourism Research, 33(2): 403–423.10.1016/j.annals.2005.12.002Search in Google Scholar

LI, X., MENG, F., UYSAL, M. (2008): Spatial pattern of tourist flows among the Asia-Pacific countries: An examination over a decade. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 13(3): 229–243.10.1080/10941660802280323Search in Google Scholar

LIU, F., ZHANG, J., CHEN, D. (2010): The characteristics and dynamical factors of Chinese inbound tourist flow network. Acta Geographica Sinica, 65(8): 1013–1024.Search in Google Scholar

LOHMANN, G., ALBERS, S., KOCH, B., PAVLOVICH, K. (2009): From hub to tourist destination – An explorative study of Singapore and Dubai's aviation-based transformation. Journal of Air Transport Management, 15(5): 205–211.10.1016/j.jairtraman.2008.07.004Search in Google Scholar

MANSFELD, Y. (1990): Spatial patterns of international tourist flows: towards a theoretical framework. Progress in Human Geography, 14(3): 372–390.10.1177/030913259001400303Search in Google Scholar

MARROCU, E., PACI, R. (2013): Different tourists to different destinations. Evidence from spatial interaction models. Tourism Management, 39: 71–83.10.1016/j.tourman.2012.10.009Search in Google Scholar

MAYER, T., ZIGNAGO, S. (2011): Notes on CEPII’s distances measures: The GeoDist database. CEPII Working Paper, 2011(25): 7–12.10.2139/ssrn.1994531Search in Google Scholar

MCKERCHER, B., LEW, A. A. (2004): Tourist Flows and the Spatial Distribution of Tourists. In: Lew, A. A., Hall, C. M., Williams A. M. [eds.]: A Companion to Tourism. New Jersey, Blackwell Publishing: 36–48.10.1002/9780470752272.ch3Search in Google Scholar

NOVÁČEK, A. M. [ed.] (2012): Dualita Evropy: historickogeografická analýza. Praha, Česká geografická společnost.Search in Google Scholar

NOVOTNÁ, M., KUBÍČKOVÁ, H., KUNC, J. (2021): Outdoor excitement in homeland? Opportunities and threats to balloon tourism in the Czech Republic during the coronavirus outbreak. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 36(2021): 1–5.10.1016/j.jort.2021.100424Search in Google Scholar

OPPERMANN, M. (1993): Tourism space in developing countries. Annals of Tourism Research, 20: 535–556.10.1016/0160-7383(93)90008-QSearch in Google Scholar

PAGE, S. (2005): Transport and tourism: Global perspectives. London, Pearson Education.Search in Google Scholar

PENG, H., ZHANG, J., LIU, Z., LU, L., YANG, L. (2016): Network analysis of tourist flows: a cross-provincial boundary perspective. Tourism Geographies, 18(5): 561–586.10.1080/14616688.2016.1221443Search in Google Scholar

PRIDEAUX, B. (2005): Factors affecting bilateral tourism flows. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(3): 780–801.10.1016/j.annals.2004.04.008Search in Google Scholar

REITSAMER, B. F., BRUNNER-SPERDIN, A., STOKBURGER-SAUER, N. E. (2016): Destination attractiveness and destination attachment: The mediating role of tourists' attitude. Tourism Management Perspectives, 19: 93–101.10.1016/j.tmp.2016.05.003Search in Google Scholar

ŠAUER, M., BOBKOVÁ, M. (2018): Tourist flows between Central European metropolises (In the context of metropolitan processes). Geographia Technica, 13(2): 125–137.10.21163/GT_2018.132.10Search in Google Scholar

ŠAUER, M., PAŘIL, V., VITURKA, M. (2019): Integrative potential of Central European metropolises with a special focus on the Visegrad countries. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 25(2): 219–238.10.3846/tede.2019.10067Search in Google Scholar

SEYFI, S., RASTEGAR, R., RASOOLIMANESH, S. M., HALL, C. M. (2021): A framework for understanding media exposure and post-COVID-19 travel intentions. Tourism Recreation Research, ahead-of-print: 1–6.10.1080/02508281.2021.1949545Search in Google Scholar

SHAO, Y., HUANG, S. S., WANG, Y., LI, Z., LUO, M. (2020): Evolution of international tourist flows from 1995 to 2018: A network analysis perspective. Tourism Management Perspectives, 36: 100752.10.1016/j.tmp.2020.100752Search in Google Scholar

SOSR (2019): Visitors in tourist accommodation establishments [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: http://statdat.statistics.skSearch in Google Scholar

STATISTICS AUSTRIA (2019): Tourism [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://www.statistik.at/web_ en/statistics/Economy/tourism/index.html/Search in Google Scholar

STATISTICS POLAND (2019): Culture. Tourism. Sport [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://stat.gov. pl/en/topics/culture-tourism-sport/Search in Google Scholar

STB (2019): Tourism in numbers [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: https://www.slovenia.info/en/business/about-slovenian-tourist-boardSearch in Google Scholar

ŠVEDA, M., MADAJOVÁ, M. S., BARLIK, P., KRIŽAN, F., ŠUŠKA, P. (2020): Mobile phone data in studying urban rhythms: Towards an analytical framework. Moravian Geographical Reports, 28(4): 248–258.10.2478/mgr-2020-0018Search in Google Scholar

TOURMIS (2019): Marketing-Information-System for tourism managers. Wien: MODUL University Vienna [online]. [cit. 17.12.2019]. Available at: http://www.tourmis.info/Search in Google Scholar

UNESCO (2021): World Heritage List [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/Search in Google Scholar

UNWTO (2019): Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Data 2013–2017, 2019 Edition. Madrid, UNWTO.Search in Google Scholar

UNWTO (2021): International Tourism Highlights, 2020 Edition [online]. [cit. 10.04.2021]. Available at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284422456.Search in Google Scholar

UNWTO/WTCF (2018): UNWTO/WTCF City Tourism Performance Research [online]. [cit. 08.08.2021]. Available at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284419616Search in Google Scholar

VITURKA, M., PAŘIL, V., TONEV, P., ŠAŠINKA, P., KUNC, J. (2017): The Metropolisation Processes – A Case of Central Europe and the Czech Republic. Prague Economic Papers, Praha, 26(5): 505–522.10.18267/j.pep.624Search in Google Scholar

WILLIAMS, A. M., BALÁŽ, V. (2002): The Czech and Slovak Republics: Conceptual issues in the economic analysis of tourism in transition. Tourism Management, 23(1): 37-45.10.1016/S0261-5177(01)00061-9Search in Google Scholar

WILLIAMS, A. M., ZELINSKY, W. (1970): On Some Patterns in International Tourist Flows. Economic Geography, 46(4): 549–567.10.2307/142940Search in Google Scholar

XING-ZHU, Y., QUN, W. (2014): Exploratory space–time analysis of inbound tourism flows to China cities. International Journal of Tourism Research, 16(3): 303–312.10.1002/jtr.1932Search in Google Scholar

YANG, Y., WONG, K. K. (2013): Spatial distribution of tourist flows to China's cities. Tourism Geographies, 15(2): 338–363.10.1080/14616688.2012.675511Search in Google Scholar

ZHANG, J., JENSEN, C. (2007): Comparative advantage: explaining tourism flows. Annals of tourism research, 34(1): 223–243.10.1016/j.annals.2006.08.004Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo