Euromonitor International unveiled today the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017 Edition at World Travel Market (WTM) London, the leading travel and tourism event worldwide. This year’s report highlights how future travel trends are borne out of the opportunities and challenges cities face.
According to the report, Asian cities dominate the global destination rankings thanks to the unstoppable rise of Chinese outbound tourism demand. Hong Kong is the most visited city in the world, followed by Bangkok, which overtook London in 2015. Wouter Geerts, Senior Travel Analyst at Euromonitor International, comments: “Asia Pacific is the standout region driving change in travel. We expect the region to continue growing in the coming decade with Singapore overtaking London as the third most visited city in the world by 2025, giving the podium fully to Asia.”
On the contrary, the performance of European cities has been hampered by the Eurozone and migrants’ crisis, as well as Brexit and terrorist attacks. Despite the uncertainty, some European destinations, in particular Greece, Italy and Spain, have profited from unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Performance in the MENA region has fluctuated greatly in recent years, however, Euromonitor forecast data shows a recovery for the region in 2017 and beyond. While MENA’s main challenges remain wars and border disputes, Sub-Saharan Africa is looking to do the reverse: opening borders and enhancing collaboration with the African Union for a plan towards seamless borders.
In stark contrast to Africa, the plans towards stronger border controls might weigh heavily on America’s tourist arrival growth. According to Euromonitor International’s Travel Forecast Model, if the US drops out of NAFTA and imposes a 35 percent tariff on Mexican imports, followed by Mexican retaliation, the impact on inter-regional travel would be considerable. New York, the most visited city in America and the only US city in the top ten most visited city ranking, has revised its 2017 forecast, expecting a potential fall of 300,000 visitors as a worst case scenario.
The top ten most visited cities are:
- Hong Kong: 26.6 million visitors
- Bangkok: 21.2 million visitors
- London: 19.2 million visitors
- Singapore: 16.6 million visitors
- Macau: 15.4 million visitors
- Dubai: 14.9 million visitors
- Paris: 14.4 million visitors
- New York: 12.7 million visitors
- Shenzhen: 12.6 million visitors
- Kuala Lumpur: 12.3 million visitors
Geerts concludes: “This report highlights why some cities are performing better than others and how emerging trends are going to reshape the travel industry and disrupt the ranking up to 2025.”