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Identification of common city characteristics influencing room occupancy

Sérgio Moro (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), ISTAR-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal)
Paulo Rita (NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CIS-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 2 May 2019

Issue publication date: 3 December 2019




National tourism offices worldwide implement marketing strategies to influence tourists’ choices. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to choosing a city as a tourism destination. The purpose of this paper is to answer which are the characteristics that play a key role in room occupancy.


Diverse characteristics such as the city offer, demographics, natural amenities (e.g. number of beaches) and also politics (e.g. type of government) are combined into a decision tree model to unveil the relevance of each in determining room occupancy. The empirical experiments used data known in 2015 from 43 cities from Europe and the rest of the World to model room occupancy rate in 2016.


While the seasonality effect plays the most significant role, other less studied features such as the type of political party prior to current government were found to have an impact in room occupancy.


This study unveiled that center–right and right governments are generally more sensitive to promote its city as a tourism destination.



Moro, S. and Rita, P. (2019), "Identification of common city characteristics influencing room occupancy", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 482-490.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, International Tourism Studies Association

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