When it comes to global tourism, major cities are outpacing other destinations in terms of the actual number of international arrivals. And where are they headed? According to the “Top 100 City Destinations” report from Euromonitor International, Asia takes the lion’s share of most visited cities.
The report revealed that within the top 100 cites listed, 43 were located in Asia, which compares with 32 in Europe. And despite geopolitical challenges across the globe, tourists are not pulling back on their visits.
Rabia Yasmeen, senior analyst and project lead for travel at Euromonitor International, said in the report that global inbound arrivals “are expected to grow by 4.2 percent to 1.5 billion trips in 2019, with the top 100 cities comprising nearly 47 percent of global arrivals and growing by 6.2 percent in 2019.”
Yasmeen said the world’s top cities “continuously outperform the growth in world arrivals as tourism becomes a catalyst for innovation as well as a driver of socio-economic progress.”
Yasmeen said Hong Kong continues to lead the city arrivals globally despite the political unrest and protests which lead to a sharp decline in the number of visitor arrivals in 2019.”
In Europe, London was followed by Paris and Istanbul. In North America, Euromonitor said cities there continue to perform well, “however, most cities lost their rankings owing to increased competitiveness from Asian and European city destinations.” New York was ranked first in North America, followed by Miami and Los Angeles.
“Cities are gateways to economies,” Yasmeen said. “The dynamism around city evolution is changing the way travelers interact with and experience cities as well as the kind of travelers drawn to city hubs. City tourism boards are now an important part of the wider city vision, working closely with national and city governments to develop services and products that attract and facilitate visitors.”
Euromonitor said 55 percent of the world’s population lives in cities, “accounting for 78.6 percent of global consumer expenditure. Cities have become centers of economic wealth in the new era of consumerism as a result.”