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Global market research company Euromonitor International is pleased to release its Top 100 Cities Destination ranking, a list of the world’s top cities in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2011.

The rebound in global economic growth in 2011 contributed to stronger tourism demand, positively impacting results for the top 100 cities, with arrivals increasing 7%.  Emerging city destinations located in Asia Pacific performed well thanks to a strong economic environment and intra-regional demand.

Hong Kong topped the ranking with more than 20 million arrivals in 2011, a nine percent increase over 2010. Hong Kong remains largely dependent on arrivals from China, but new themed events organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board helped draw in visitors from other Asian countries this year. Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand all registered double-digit growth in the number of trips to Hong Kong.
Singapore and London kept their 2010 positions as number two and three on the list, recording nearly 20 million arrivals and 15 million arrivals, respectively. Singapore’s growth was driven primarily by large events like the Great Singapore Sales, Formula One Grand Prix and TravelRave, while London benefited from a wide mix of entertainment options and its position as Europe’s best connected city.

“While many cities maintained their previous rankings, Vietnam showed a particularly strong performance with Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi experiencing over 40% growth for the second consecutive year,” explains Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel and Tourism Research at Euromonitor International. “Although Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will continue to be top tourist attractions in Vietnam, future demand is likely to be driven by other Vietnamese cities including Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc emerging as international tourists look to discover more new places.”

Euromonitor International foresees an even stronger growth for arrivals in 2012. Because uncertainty in the global economy still exists, especially in the US and Europe, future growth will be driven by Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Less visa restrictions will further encourage tourism flows over 2012-2016.

Top City Destinations Ranking 2011

CountryCityRank2011 Arrivals (000s)2011 Growth (%)
Hong Kong, ChinaHong Kong121830.28.8
SingaporeSingapore219818.18.7
United KingdomLondon315106.12.7
MalaysiaKuala Lumpur413315.416.0
ChinaMacau512925.28.4
ThailandBangkok612357.412.5
TurkeyAntalya712052.413.3
ChinaShenzhen810894.66.8
USANew York City910038.03.5
TurkeyIstanbul109765.220.2
ChinaGuangzhou118875.58.9
FranceParis128403.53.5
United Arab EmiratesDubai137741.0-0.1
ChinaShanghai146911.7-5.8
USAMiami156461.87.1
Saudi ArabiaMecca166412.14.7
ThailandPattaya176002.910.5
ItalyRome185966.24.5
USALas Vegas195387.14.2
SpainBarcelona205366.44.0
TaiwanTaipei215256.651.3
ChinaBeijing225152.75.1
USALos Angeles234918.48.1
ThailandPhuket244893.99.5
HungaryBudapest254376.98.5
NetherlandsAmsterdam264201.912.8
RussiaMoscow274170.011.5
USAOrlando283825.24.1
Czech RepublicPrague293759.50.0
GermanyBerlin303711.37.5
AustriaVienna313690.04.8
TurkeyMugla323592.111.9
VietnamHo Chi Minh333533.345.1
SpainMadrid343431.00.8
UkraineKiev353371.76.6
PolandWarsaw363351.235.0
IrelandDublin373250.0-6.7
EgyptCairo383248.9-35.0
TurkeyEdirne393181.39.3
ChinaZhuhai403179.9-2.2
IndiaChennai413174.514.0
ChinaHangzhou423148.714.2
ArgentinaBuenos Aires432967.79.2
USASan Francisco442924.32.9
RussiaSt Petersburg452900.016.0
South KoreaSeoul462857.11.7
MexicoMexico City472847.43.7
JapanTokyo482748.2-28.0
CanadaToronto492737.40.3
IndiaDelhi502702.615.0
AustraliaSydney512626.00.2
IndonesiaDenpasar522559.50.5
MexicoCancún532492.99.1
PeruLima542442.430.0
ChinaSuzhou552365.814.0
RomaniaBucharest562350.010.0
IndiaMumbai572349.07.0
BelgiumBrussels582285.02.1
Dominican RepublicPunta Cana592232.911.0
South AfricaJohannesburg602180.38.4
GermanyMunich612134.64.0
FranceNice622134.12.6
New ZealandAuckland632100.07.7
PortugalLisbon642099.85.4
IndiaAgra652085.415.0
ItalyMilan662074.54.8
IndiaJaipur672061.716.0
MoroccoMarrakech682052.31.2
EgyptSharm el Sheikh692005.2-21.6
Saudi ArabiaEast Province701996.56.4
SyriaDamascus711988.1-18.4
CanadaVancouver721894.3-6.6
IndonesiaJakarta731893.20.3
BulgariaBurgas741859.77.7
SyriaAleppo751856.5-12.3
ItalyVenice761832.74.7
PhilippinesManila771821.523.0
ItalyFlorence781817.24.5
BulgariaVarna791813.97.4
KenyaNairobi801812.040.3
USAHonolulu811801.02.8
GreeceAthens821786.62.0
VietnamHanoi831750.041.5
New ZealandChristchurch841735.0-0.5
United Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi851725.06.3
BrazilRio de Janeiro861722.77.0
ChinaGuilin871698.914.3
AustraliaMelbourne881677.014.4
BrazilSão Paulo891648.03.0
ThailandChiang Mai901632.06.3
USAWashington DC911615.82.6
Saudi ArabiaRiyadh921610.16.5
AzerbaijanBaku931589.98.6
TurkeyIzmir941532.927.1
ChinaNanjing951497.914.4
BulgariaSofia-City & Greater Area961468.09.7
KyrgyzstanIssyk-Kulskaya Oblast971450.557.6
BelarusMinsk981437.72.8
IndiaKolkatta991431.69.0
SwitzerlandZurich1001424.03.3

Michelle Grant, travel and tourism research manager at Euromonitor International discusses key findings from the list

View previous rankings

Top 100 Cities Destination Ranking 2010
Top 100 Cities Destination Ranking 2009
Top 100 Cities Destination Ranking 2008
Top 150 Cities Destination Ranking 2006

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Annual research programme

Euromonitor International’s Top City Destinations Ranking (2011 edition) was built from the results of the global travel research programme conducted in 57 core countries by in-country analysts, which follows Euromonitor International’s methodology and definitions for travel and tourism.

City arrivals data was sourced directly from national statistics offices, airport arrivals, hotel/accommodation stays or other methods for all 57 core countries and 153 market insight countries under review.

Main secondary sources included governmental, inter-governmental and other official sources; national and international specialist trade press and trade associations; industry study groups and other semi-official sources; and reports published by major operators, travel retailers, online databases and the financial, business and mainstream press. Trade interviews were conducted with national tourist offices, trade associations and travel operators to fill gaps in secondary research.

Country data was then cross-checked on a regional basis by the regional research teams based in London, Vilnius, Chicago and Singapore. Examples of regional sources reviewed included TourMis and European Cities Marketing for Europe. Further top-down checks were conducted by the in-house global research team. Where irregularities were found between editions, supplementary research was conducted to confirm or amend those findings. Euromonitor International is satisfied that the results of the in-country research, coupled with the top-down global perspective, ensure that the Top City Destinations Ranking is robust with a high level of data validation.

It is important to note that the Top City Destinations Ranking is not an exhaustive list and that its purpose is to highlight leading cities gleaned from the findings of Euromonitor International’s annual research programme, with the emphasis on cities, rather than popular holiday resorts.

Research Method

Data Research Method City
Airport ArrivalsAgra, Amsterdam, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkatta, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Mumbai, Punta Cana, Taipei
Airport Arrivals and Hotel/AccommodationBuenos Aires, Cairo, Sharm el Sheikh
Hotel/AccommodationAthens, Berlin, Cancún, Florence, Lima, Marrakech, Mexico City, Milan, Paris, Prague, Rome, Venice, Vienna
National Statistics OfficeAbu Dhabi, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Budapest, Chiang Mai, Denpasar, Dubai, Dublin, Edinburgh, East Province, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta, Las Vegas, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Macau, Madrid, Manila, Mecca, Miami, Minsk, Munich, Nanjing, New York City, Nice, Orlando, Pattaya, Phuket, Rio De Janeiro, Riyadh, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Suzhou, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC, Zhuhai, Zurich
Other methodAleppo, Antalya, Auckland, Baku, Bucharest, Burgas, Christchurch, Damascus, Edirne, Issyk-Kulskaya Oblast, Istanbul, Izmir, Johannesburg, Kiev, Mugla, Nairobi, Sofia-City & Greater Area, St Petersburg, Varna, Warsaw

Source: Euromonitor International

Chinese arrival inclusions

Overnight visitors from mainland China are included in the Hong Kong arrivals data. Overnight visitors from mainland China and Hong Kong are included in the Macau arrivals data. Overnight visitors from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are included in the Beijing arrivals data.

Footnotes

Country/CityNotes
All countries/citiesExclude day trippers and domestic visitors
SingaporeIncludes Malaysian citizens arriving by land
Saudi ArabiaOfficial data is for provinces only
Issyk-Kulskaya OblastRegion surrounding the Issyk-Kul Lake

Source: Euromonitor International

Definitions

International arrivals by city includes visitors from abroad that arrive at the city under review as their first point of entry, and also includes those visitors to the city that arrived in the country via a different point of entry, but then go on to visit the city in question during their trip.

Arrivals refers to international tourists, ie any person visiting another country for at least 24 hours, for a period not exceeding 12 months, and staying in collective or private accommodation. Each arrival is counted separately and includes people travelling more than once a year and people visiting several countries during one holiday. Domestic visitors are excluded. This encompasses all purposes of visit, such as business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives.

Euromonitor International’s arrival figures exclude same-day visitors, transit and cruise passengers as this can distort arrival figures at important border crossings and cruise destinations respectively. It also excludes those in paid employment abroad. Students that stay in a country for a period of more than 12 months are excluded and are considered as temporary residents. Military personnel and transportation crew are excluded, along with displaced people because of war or natural disasters.

The ranking focuses on capital city hubs and tends to exclude beach and ski resorts that may enjoy high volumes of international visitors.

 

A new edition of the rankings, released January 27, 2014 is available here: https://blog.euromonitor.com/2014/01/euromonitor-internationals-top-city-destinations-ranking.html

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