This Asian City has been Dominating Global Tourism Space for Eight Consecutive Years
Asia is gaining the momentum in the global tourism space being the most favorite destination to visit in the world, says the Euromonitor International 2018 report on “Top 100 Destination Cities of 2018”.
The UK-based market research company reveals that the region accounts for 41 out of the top 100 cities, which has steadily risen from 37 in 2012.
As Asian tourism market continues to rise, 15 out of 20 international spots are from Asia. The Chinese city of Hong Kong tops the chart as the top performer with Bangkok, Singapore, Macau following the list in the global 10.
According to the Euromonitor data, Hong Kong attracted 29,827 tourists in 2018, which was a steep 7 per cent growth from the previous year in the region. While Thai capital Bangkok recorded the growth by 5 per cent, other Asian cities Singapore, Macau and Kuala Malpur recorded the 5.3, 9.2 and 4.6 per cent growth respectively from the previous year.
The biggest loser is the Middle East and Africa region, says report. With cities such as Jerba and Sousse in Tunisia, or Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt dropping out of the ranking in the past years due to number of terror attacks, which marked a slump in demand.
It highlights that Japan and India stand out for their strong growth in inbound city arrivals growth. Cities such as Osaka and Chiba have shown average annual growth of 43 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively, between 2012 and 2017. Delhi and Mumbai average over 20 per cent annual growth as well.
What Makes Hong Kong Number One?
Some of the core reasons of the consecutive growth of Hong Kong in the index include the recent completion of the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong Bridge, and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail link that cuts the travel time to Hong Kong from major Chinese cities in half.
Hong Kong faced the slump in tourists in 2015 and 2016 when the country saw the appreciation of the Hong Kong dollar against the currencies of major inbound countries and the anti-corruption campaign carried out by the Chinese government. But in subsequently less time, the country overcame the challenge and rebounded in 2017 and 2018.
The enormous number of shopping centres can give the impression of Hong Kong as a concrete jungle, but mountains and greenery account for over 70 per cent of the city, says the report. The country’s tourism board aims to further boost the sustainable tourism growth, it revealed.
Other cities that made it to the list of top 100 international spots from outside Asia were London, ranked third, Paris in sixth place, New York in eighth, Rome 15th, and Prague 20th.