London to tumble down travel league tables as Asian cities soar

London to tumble down travel league tables as Asian cities soar

London will fall down the global city destination rankings in the next seven years, slipping from third to sixth, 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 is the top city for international arrivals, with more than 26 million visitors in 2016, followed by the Thai capital Bangkok with just over 21 million, London is third, with just over 19 million,  reveals the top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London Edition, by Euromonitor International.

However, the surge in travel to Asian cities means London will be overtaken in the coming years by Singapore, Macau and Dubai, while Hong Kong and Bangkok will remain by far the most-visited cities.

By 2025, international arrivals to Hong Kong will reach almost 45 million, followed by Bangkok at 40 million. Singapore will be third (30m); Macau fourth (27m); Dubai fifth (26m) and London will be sixth with just over 25 million.

The report noted London was second until recently, when it was surpassed by Bangkok.

Author Wouter Geerts, Senior Travel Analyst at Euromonitor Internationalsaid: “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.

“In 2010, 34 cities from Asia Pacific were present in our Top 100 Ranking. This jumped to 41 cities in 2017, and is expected to grow to 47 cities in 2025. The impact of inter-Asian travel (predominantly from China) in particular cannot be underestimated.”

However, he noted: “The travel industry in Europe has been hampered by several events in recent years, including the Eurozone crisis, Brexit, the migrant crisis and terrorist attacks in a number of countries.”

Globally, London is by far the biggest city in Europe for inbound arrivals – Paris is seventh (14m), Rome 12th (9.3m) and Istanbul 15th (9.1m) on the worldwide rankings.

Despite the terrorist attacks in London during 2017, the British capital will continue to show healthy growth of more than 3% in 2017, said the report.

The city has been running the #LondonIsOpen campaign to ensure leisure and business travellers continue to visit.

Another challenge for London will be Brexit, and the city’s attractiveness for business services will be under pressure after the UK leaves the European Union.

“Brexit threatens to undermine London’s dominant position for ease of doing business and its attractiveness as a start-up hub,” warned the report.

“Competing cities that have emerged to steal its crown include Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stockholm, Dublin and Amsterdam, based on transport connections, diversity and creative spirit.”

The report also highlights the dominance of London in the UK market, as more than half of the 35.6 million arrivals in 2016 visited the capital.

The British government is developing the UK rail network to help stimulate leisure and business travel beyond London, with investments such as High Speed Two (HS2) from London Euston to Birmingham, Crewe and Leeds.

World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “The report we have produced with Euromonitor International gives a fascinating global perspective on the trends we’re seeing in the travel trade. The massive influx of Chinese travellers visiting cities across Asia will push European cities such as London down the rankings.

“But London is still predicted to grow continuously over the coming years and – like many destinations – it faces challenges about how to cope with that growth. This report examines the range of problems and the opportunities faced by Londoners, including transport, congestion and economic issues.”


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 *