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Euromonitor Top 100 Cities: Asian destinations dominate the latest travel rankings

  Posted in Travel Trends  Last updated 30/11/2023

Euromonitor International recently released its annual Top City Destinations Ranking report, coinciding with one of our industry’s leading events – World Travel Market in London.

As well as presenting current data, the report also provides forecasts as far as 2025 and delves into travel trends that are apparent now and heading into the future.

Last year there were 1.2 billion international trips taken worldwide by tourists. Visits to the top 100 cities accounted for 558 million – almost half the total at 46%.

Here are the key performance figures for the major regions across the globe.

The top destinations in Asia

Inbound arrivals and outbound departures in Asia (including Asia Pacific and Australasia) showed healthy growth of 8.5% and 8% respectively. There are now 41 Asia Pacific cities in the top 100, and this is expected to grow to 47 by 2025. It’s also significant that the top five destinations in Asia are all in the top 10 globally; an indication of the region’s continuing dominance.

Top five cities in Asia:

  1. Hong Kong (1st globally) – 26.5 million inbound arrivals
  2. Bangkok (2nd globally) – 21.2 million inbound arrivals
  3. Singapore (4th globally) – 16.6 million inbound arrivals
  4. Macau (5th globally) – 15.3 million inbound arrivals
  5. Shenzhen (9th globally) – 12.5 million inbound arrivals

Hong Kong’s growth has slowed by 3.2% while Bangkok has grown by 9.5% and Delhi is expected to see the biggest gross rise in 2017 with 2.8 million more inbound arrivals than 2016.

To ensure continued arrivals growth and sustainable expansion, Asian cities are streaming ahead with initiatives to become smart cities, staging a cashless revolution and leading the way in technology. Given the current state, it will be hard for the rest of the world to catch up.

Inbound arrivals and outbound departures in Asia Pacific showed healthy growth

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Top destinations in Europe

The performance of the travel industry in Europe has been affected by a number of factors in the last couple of years, including Brexit. Despite this, the top 10 European cities remain largely unchanged, although Paris has dropped down the global rankings.

Top five cities in Europe:

  1. London (3rd globally) – 19.1 million inbound arrivals
  2. Paris (7th globally) – 14.4 million inbound arrivals
  3. Rome (12th globally) – 9.4 million inbound arrivals
  4. Istanbul (15th globally) – 9.1 million inbound arrivals
  5. Prague (18th globally) – 8.2 million inbound arrivals

In 2017, Heraklion and Athens in Greece have shown the strongest growth, at 11% and 10% respectively. On the other end of the scale Istanbul has recorded negative growth of almost 6%.

It is expected that the UK will achieve VisitBritain’s target of 40 million inbound arrivals by 2020.

Top destinations in the Americas

Euromonitor’s report noted that there has been a decrease in growth in the Americas. Although the US is still recording positive growth, it witnessed a slowdown in 2016 due to a strong dollar and political uncertainty surrounding the US elections.

Top five cities in the Americas:

  1. New York (8th globally) – 12.7 million inbound arrivals
  2. Miami (20th globally) – 7.8 million inbound arrivals
  3. Las Vegas (26th globally) – 6.7 million inbound arrivals
  4. Los Angeles (31st globally) – 5.8 million inbound arrivals
  5. Cancun (32nd globally) – 5.8 million inbound arrivals

Cancun is recording the strongest growth at 16%, ahead of Toronto (11%) and Mexico City (9%). By 2025, Cancun is expected to sit ahead of Los Angeles. The biggest losers are Rio de Janeiro (-2.8%), Buenos Aires (-1%), and Las Vegas (-0.6%).

Top destinations in the Middle East and Africa

This region is one of great unrest and its performance fluctuates regularly as a result. A noteworthy observation is that Egypt will record growth in 2017. Dubai is by far the largest destination in the region, but Saudi Arabia has three cities in the top ranking as the country makes a bigger push for a slice of the tourism pie.

Top 5 cities in the Middle East and Africa:

  1. Dubai (6th overall) – 14.9 million inbound arrivals
  2. Mecca (19th overall) – 8 million inbound arrivals
  3. Johannesburg (37th overall) – 5.1 million inbound arrivals
  4. Riyadh (41st overall) – 5 million inbound arrivals
  5. Dammam City (58th overall) – 3.4 million inbound arrivals

The strongest growth was recorded in Dubai (11%) due to its apparent insulation to all that is happening around it. The city’s tourism industry is booming, and it is adopting new technologies at a rapid pace, aiming to accept 20 million visitors by 2020.

To find out more about attracting international guests to your hotel, read our eBook on diversifying your distribution strategy.


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By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. With 5+ years of experience in content strategy, Shine has produced informational content across various industry topics, mostly about operations management and continuous improvement. She aims to share well-researched articles for hoteliers to discover how to optimize their time and increase room revenue.


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