: Some Asian cities are forecast to dominate the global destination rankings in the next decade, reveals Euromonitor International research for World Travel Market London_ the leading global event for the travel industry_ released recently, at WTM London.
Of the Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM Edition, by Euromonitor International, Hong Kong and Bangkok take the top two spots. Other Asian cities are surging up the table, largely because millions more travellers from China_ the world's fourth largest source market_ are exploring Asia.
There were 34 Asian cities in the 2010 ranking of the top 100 city destinations by international arrival numbers. This jumped to 41 in 2017, and is expected to grow to 47 cities in 2025. "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," author Wouter Geerts, Senior Travel Analyst, at Euromonitor International said. "The impact of inter-Asian travel_ predominantly from China_ in particular cannot be underestimated."
Hong Kong tops the table with 26.55 million inbound arrivals in 2016, followed by Bangkok (21.25m), which has overtaken 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). Dubai, seen as a gateway between Asia and the West, is sixth (14.9m).
Hong Kong remains the largest arrivals city worldwide, thanks to its relationship with China, but more Chinese travellers are looking further afield and boosting numbers in other Asian cities, said the report.
Bangkok has performed very strongly in recent years, seeing only a limited impact from the banning of 'zero-dollar tours'_ which are cheap tour packages for Chinese tourists.
The report noted that Indonesian cities will benefit from a Chinese influx, boosted by the waiving of visa requirements. Denpasar, the gateway to Bali, is expected to see the strongest growth in 2017, at almost 53 per cent year-on-year.
In absolute growth terms, the Indian city of Delhi is expected to see the largest increase in 2017, rising by almost three million (up 38 per cent year-on-year) to more than 10 million inbound arrivals, thanks in part to the launch of e-visas in 2014.
Overall, inbound arrivals and outbound departures in Asia (including Asia Pacific and Australasia) showed healthy growth of 8.5 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, 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," said the report.
"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 travellers away. Chiba registered decline, with Tokyo a mere slowdown."