When a big event rolls into town, many cities can struggle to cope with the demand for hotel rooms.
Airbnb and other holiday rental sites have alleviated such problems, although in many cases prices can be significantly higher than normal for guests.
Which cities have the fewest number of hotels for visiting tourists?
I used Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Ranking (tourist arrivals) to identify the top 100 cities for tourism in 2015.
Using this list of 100, I then turned to Tripadvisor to identify number of accommodation options in each city. Tripadvisor splits accommodation options into 4 types:
- B&B and Inns
- Speciality Lodging
- Holiday Rentals
Note, the “holiday rental” category does not include rentals from popular sites like Airbnb and other equivalents which will result in a lower number reported for this category than is correct.
Top 10 Destinations by Tourist Arrivals (2015)
|Rank 2015 Arrivals||City||Country||2014 Arrivals (‘000)||2015 Arrivals (‘000)||Y-o-YGrowth 2014-2015|
|1||Hong Kong||Hong Kong, China||27,770.50||26,686.00||3.91%|
|7||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||13,200.00||14,200.00||-7.58%|
|9||New York City||US||12,230.00||12,300.00||-0.57%|
Hong Kong welcomed 28 million tourists in 2015, 10 million more than the second touristed city, Bangkok (17 million). It also saw the fastest growth (4%) for arrivals in 2015 (top 10 only). Jerba, Tunisia saw the biggest increase in tourists (top 100) (17%), whilst Osaka, Japan saw the biggest decrease in tourist arrivals (top 100) (-52%).
Top 100 Destinations by Tourist Arrivals (2015)
To put things into perspective, while all cities in the top 10 received more than 10 million arrivals the majority of cities received less than 5 million (67).
The top destinations in the top 100 fall primarily in Europe and Asia.
Top 10 cities by number of accommodation options
|Rank Accommodation count||City||Country||count Hotels||count B&B||count Specialty Lodging||count Holiday Rentals||total accommodation|
Orlando does not have the most hotels (Beijing does, 6449) but it does have the highest number of accommodation options, 16150 in total (most of which are classified as holiday rentals by TripAdvisor).
The top 4 cities with the most hotels are all in China: Beijing (6449), Shanghai (4999), Guangzhou (3394), Shenzhen (2754).
World largest hotels by rooms
|1||First World Hotel||Malaysia||Genting Highlands||7,351|
|2||The Venetian and The Palazzo||United States||Las Vegas||7,117|
|3||MGM Grand Las Vegas + The Signature||United States||Las Vegas||6,852|
|4||CityCenter||United States||Las Vegas||6,790|
|5||Sands Cotai Central||Macau||Macau||6,000|
|7||Wynn Las Vegas + Encore Las Vegas||United States||Las Vegas||4,750|
|8||Mandalay Bay + Delano + Four Seasons||United States||Las Vegas||4,426|
|9||Luxor Las Vegas||United States||Las Vegas||4,407|
|10||Ambassador City Jomtien||Thailand||Pattaya||4,219|
The First World Hotel in Malaysia holds the crown for the largest hotel by number of rooms (7351). 6 of the top 10 largest hotels by number of rooms can be found in Las Vegas.
Fewest accommodation options per tourist
|Arrivals / accom rank||City||Country||Accommodation options total||Arrivals 2015 total||Arrivals per accom|
|6||Hong Kong||Hong Kong, China||1469||26,686,000||18,166|
As an average figure, each accommodation option (hotel, B&B, etc) in Macau must serve 130,077 tourists over a year. Assuming each stays for an average of 7 days and the majority of those bookings are 1 room for 2 people, that means there must at least 1,251 rooms at each accommodation option ((130077/2)/52), assuming maximum efficiency. After further research, I found official figures (2015) that stated there are 29,725 rooms spread across 73 hotels in Macau (note, the above calculation factors in other accommodation options – not just hotels).
Compare that to Orlando, ranked 100 for arrivals / accommodation, where there is 1 accommodation option to every 309 tourists. Tourists have significantly more choice here.
I used number of accommodation options, not rooms for these calculations. Cities like Macau and Las Vegas tend to have “mega-hotels” of 3000+ rooms each. It would be more accurate to calculate scarcity of hotel rooms against tourists, as opposed to individual hotels (and other accommodation options) as has been used in this post.
As discussed in the Methodology section of this post, the data does not include rentals from popular sites like Airbnb and other equivalents resulting in a lower numbers reported for this category than actually available. If it was possible to get an accurate count of these rentals this would improve my current workings.
Each hotel (and other accommodation type) must serve 130,077 tourists in Macau.