Published January 28, 2014
The world’s top 100 cities in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2011 have been unveiled.
Though the only African cities ranked in the Euro Monitor’s 100 Cities of the World in 2011 are Egypt’s Cairo (in position 38) and Sharm el Sheikh (69th), South Africa’s Johannesburg (60th), Morocco’s Marrakech (68th) and Kenya’s Nairobi (80th), it is Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions that are most likely to drive future growth in travel and tourism due to uncertainty in the global economy that persists in USA and Europe.
With fewer visa restrictions, Euromonitor International–that ranks the world’s top travel and tourism cities–predicts an even stronger growth for arrivals in the 2012-2016 period.
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 9% increase over 2010. Hong Kong remains largely dependent on arrivals from China, but new themed events organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board helped draw in visitors from other Asian countries. 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, respectively, recording nearly 20 million arrivals and 15 million arrivals, in that order.
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.”