Hong Kong is still the world’s most visited city in 2017. The city keeps its crown for the eighth consecutive year thanks to its strategic location and relationship with China.
Although mainland visitors dropped in 2017, Hong Kong has retained its global crown. This is according to a report from market research provider Euromonitor International. Hong Kong attracted an estimated 26.6 million visits, making it the world’s most visited city for the eighth year in a row. Bangkok came second, followed by London. The UK’s capital, along with Paris, was the only European city to feature in the top ten.
“Hong Kong remains the top city in the world as it benefits from its strategic location and relationship with China,” says Wouter Geerts, senior analyst at Euromonitor International. “However, it saw growth dip in 2017 as relations with mainland China were strained, but growth will pick up again between 2018 and 2025.”
Shenzhen also ranked in the global top 10. It was the only mainland Chinese city to make the list.
Chinese outbound travellers
Asia-Pacific remains the stand-out region of the world as Chinese outbound travellers continue to dictate the global destination rankings. Six out of the top 10 cities are also from Asia. Singapore is in the number four spot, followed by Macau, Shenzhen and Kuala Lumpur.
This trend is likely to influence global destination rankings for the next decade according to the report. 41 cities from Asia-Pacific make the top 100 city destination in 2017, constituting a rise from 34 in 2010. An estimated 47 Asia-Pacific cities are expected to be included in the top 100 ranking in 2025 as inter-Asian travel expands.
Seoul, formerly a popular destination for Chinese visitors, slid to the bottom of the top 10 destinations in Asia. The city suffered a double-digit decline in visits after China banned tour groups from visiting South Korea. This was in retaliation for the deployment of a missile defence system, THAAD.
As the strained relationship with China continues, South Korean cities are expected to show poor performances. Jeju is expected to see a decline in tourist visits, as Blooloop has previously reported.
This reverses the strong growth seen in 2016, also driven by its proximity to China and a visa-free entry scheme.