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Asia Pacific is the standout region that has driven change in the travel landscape over the past decade and is expected to continue doing so in the coming decade, according to the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking WTM London Edition, by Euromonitor International, presented on November 2017.
Hong Kong and Bangkok take the top two spots of the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking, and other Asian cities are surging up the table, largely because millions more travelers from China – the world’s fourth largest source market – are exploring Asia. Hong Kong has 26.55 million inbound arrivals in 2016, followed by Bangkok (21.25m), which has overtaken London recently. In fourth place is Singapore (16.6m); fifth is Macau (15.39m); ninth is Shenzhen (12.57m) and rounding off the top 10 is Kuala Lumpur (12.29m).
Hong Kong remains the largest arrivals city worldwide, thanks to its relationship with China, but more Chinese travelers are looking further afield and boosting numbers in other Asian cities. Bangkok has performed very strongly in recent years, seeing only a limited impact from the banning of cheap tour packages for Chinese tourists. Indonesian cities will also benefit from a Chinese influx, boosted by the waiving of visa requirements, with Denpasar, the gateway to Bali, expected to see the strongest growth in 2017.
Overall, inbound arrivals and outbound departures in Asia showed healthy growth in 2016.However, the picture is not one of growth across the board, as cities in South Korea and Japan are seeing declines or slower growth rates. South Korean cities are expected to perform worst in the region, as the strained relationship with China takes its toll, while Japanese cities are a victim of their own success. With the strong influx of Chinese tourists in recent years, hotel rates in Tokyo and neighbouring Chiba have skyrocketed, driving travelers away. Chiba registered decline, with Tokyo a mere slowdown.
Euromonitor International presented the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking Report in the WTM London event November 2017.