Bangkok this year has become the second-most visited city in the world after Hong Kong, according to Euromonitor International’s report released yesterday.
In its “Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017” Edition at the World Travel Market London, the report highlighted how future travel trends depend on opportunities and challenges facing cities.
Bangkok (21.2 million visitors) beat London (19.2 million), which is ranked third followed by Singapore (16.6 million), Macau (15.4 million), Dubai (14.9 million), Paris (14.4 million), New York (12.7 million), Shenzhen (12.6 million) and Kuala Lumpur (12.3 million).
According to the report, Asian cities dominated the global destination rankings due to the rise of Chinese outbound tourism. Bangkok beat London again after overtaking it in 2015.
Wouter Geerts, senior travel analyst at Euromonitor International, said: “Asia-Pacific is the standout region driving change in travel. We expect the region to continue growing in the coming decade with Singapore overtaking London as the third most visited city in the world by 2025, giving the podium fully to Asia.”
Meanwhile, the performance of European cities has been hampered by the euro-zone and migrant crises, Brexit and terrorist attacks. Despite uncertainty, European destinations, in particular Greece, Italy and Spain, have profited from unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.
Performance in the Middle East region has fluctuated greatly in recent years, with Euromonitor data forecasting a recovery for the region in 2017 and beyond. The main challenges remain wars and border disputes.
According to Euromonitor International’s Travel Forecast Model, if the US drops out of Nafta and imposes a 35-per-cent tariff on Mexican imports, followed by Mexican retaliation, the impact on inter-regional travel would be considerable. New York, the most visited city in America and the only US city in the top-10 most-visited cities, has revised its 2017 forecast, expecting a potential fall of 300,000 visitors as a worst-case scenario.
The report highlighted why some cities were performing better than others and how emerging trends were going to reshape the travel industry and disrupt the ranking through 2025, Geerts said.