Shanghai, China, cruise, port, Asia-Pacific, fastest growth,, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Beijing, Paris, WTTC, report, tourism, travel, cities, GDP, earnings, world, top, New York, Asia
The glowing, growing cityscape of Shanghai

World’s best performing tourism cities listed

The annual Cities Report by the World Travel & Tourism Council highlights the increasing dominance of cities in Asia.

The world’s best performing cities for tourism are revealed in a new report covering 72 of the “most important tourism cities”, which together generated over $625 billion in gross domestic product last year, or almost a quarter of global travel and tourism GDP.

The annual Cities Report by the World Travel & Tourism Council was presented at the WTTC Asia Leaders Forum in Macau.

The world’s top ten cities in terms of tourism market size are now Shanghai (US$35bn), Beijing ($32.5bn), Paris ($28bn), Orlando ($24.8bn), New York ($24.8bn), Tokyo ($21.7bn), Bangkok ($21.3bn), Mexico City ($19.7bn), Las Vegas ($19.5bn) and Shenzhen ($19bn).

Nine of the world’s top ten cities for tourism in terms of job creation are now in Asia, the list being Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Shenzhen.

Among the highlights from the report, Cairo was by far the fastest growing city in 2017 in terms of travel and tourism GDP contribution (34.4%), followed by Macau (14.2%).

But four of the five fastest growing cities over the past ten years are located in China, namely Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Shanghai is ranked as the largest city by travel and tourism volume, and by 2027 it is expected to be double the size of Paris in terms of the sector’s direct contribution to GDP.

Bangkok (50.4%), Paris (29.8%), Mexico City (24%) and Tokyo (20.2%), meanwhile, are the biggest contributors to their country’s travel and tourism GDP.

In terms of domestic vs international spending, New York sets an example as a city with “a remarkable balance” (52.7% vs 47.2%), the report says, while Paris relies heavily on international spend and Beijing on domestic.

China’s domination
Chinese cities have matured rapidly over the past decade and the report says they are forecast to continue dominating the growth charts at least up until 2027.

Shanghai, for example, went from being the eighth largest city in terms of travel and tourism GDP in 2007 to become the largest in 2017 – a position it is expected to maintain for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, the rapid growth of Guangzhou will take it to fourth place and Chongqing is forecast to join the top 15 for the first time. This comes after a period of sustained infrastructure development, such as investments in airports and product development.

Related stories

How China is changing travel and tourism

Nordic cities among best for city breaks

City breaks outgrow overall tourism