Top 100 destinations list shows travel trends

Euromonitor releases world Top City Destinations Ranking

Euromonitor International has released its Top City Destinations Ranking, covering 100 of the world’s leading cities in terms of international tourist arrivals.

Continued economic growth helped these cities to collectively experience a gain of 6.6% in 2012, outpacing the 4.2% growth in overall international arrivals. Within the top 10, six cities are located in Asia, demonstrating the importance of the region to international travel, while 32 of the top 100 are in Asia Pacific, 12 more than in second-placed Western Europe.

Cities in the Nordic region do not feature at all in the top 100. The top 10 are, in order: Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, London, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Shenzhen, New York City, Antalya, Paris.

One of the major findings is how the rise of Chinese tourists is impacting the top cities. China was the fastest growing source market. Arrivals from China to Hong Kong grew by 11.1% in 2012 and accounted for a 63.5% share of all inbound visitors. Without taking Chinese arrivals into account, international arrivals to Hong Kong were flat.

China is the third largest source market for Singapore although it accounts for only 9.6% of international arrivals. Instead, Singapore relies heavily on arrivals from Malaysia and Indonesia, which together account for slightly more than half of all arrivals.

Chinese tourists are also a boon to Thailand’s tourism industry, increasing by 62% in 2012 to become the largest source market for tourists. Chinese tourists visit Thailand for its temples, beaches and shopping. The 2012 Chinese film “Lost in Thailand” inspired more tourists to flock to the country. As a result, Bangkok edged out London for third place in the rankings.

But fewer travellers are visiting China. In absolute terms, Shanghai, Beijing and Zhuhai were among the worst performing cities in 2012. A slowing economy, a stronger yuan and pollution fears all dissuaded travellers from visiting Asian countries, as well as Canadians and Russians from visiting China. However, Guilin registered strong growth thanks to efforts to promote the city as an international destination at travel trade fairs.

Euromonitor International’s Top City Destinations Ranking can be found here:


[pictured: Hong Kong; photo by Marc Sievert,]


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