Asian cities soar up the global travel league table

Asian cities soar up the global travel league table

Asian cities will dominate the global destination rankings in the next decade, thanks to the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism, reveals Euromonitor International  research for World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry – released today (Tuesday 7 November) at WTM London.

Hong Kong and Bangkok take the top two spots of the Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London Edition, by Euromonitor International, and 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 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). 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% 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% 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% and 8%, 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.”

World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “With greater numbers of Chinese travellers becoming more affluent and intrepid, many more Asian cities are seeing their inbound numbers surge. This report drills down into the detail of the figures to help explain why some cities are faring better than others.

“It also examines the phenomenal rise of bookings via mobile phones and online travel agencies in China – trends which the rest of the world should monitor, as they are likely to have a major impact on other markets around the globe.”

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The five events are;


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.


International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.


World Travel Market Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.


World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.


About Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.



About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.



About the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 

For the first time ever, Euromonitor International’s highly anticipated will be presented at the World Travel Market event in London on November 7, 2017. This year’s report incorporates WTM Global Travel Trends to give further insight on how city destinations are at the forefront of tourism growth and innovation and how travel trends are borne out of the opportunities and challenges that cities face.



Tagged , .

World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *