Most Popular Cities, By Arrivals

Are you interested in which cities around the world are the most popular, at least in terms of international arrivals? Well, Euromonitor International – the leading independent provider of strategic market research in the world on a myriad of subjects, with researchers and analysts in more than 100 countries – produces an annual report which identifies the 100 leading cities in the world for arrivals. The report does not specifically identify the primary reason for visitors – tourism, business, as a travel hub or perhaps all three – but a little knowledge will enable the individual to work that out for her/himself.

10 arrival destinations

Showing a shift in destinations in recent years, 35 of the cities are in Asia, now superceding Western Europe with 28, followed by Africa and the Middle East with 13, North America with nine, Eastern Europe with seven, Latin America with six, and Australasia with two.

Interestingly, China with the US has the highest number of cities in the top 100 with seven each, but China is also now the leading country for outbound travellers –to Macao and Hong Kong too, and vice-versa included in statistics – indicating increased activity for both tourism and business.

leading cities in the world for arrivals

Some statistics are obviously short-term aberrations, for example arrivals to Brazil for the 2014 soccer world cup and Olympics in 2016, and on the negative side Bangkok suffered from political unrest, but in the longer-term occurrences such as the wave of migrants into Europe and increased security barriers within the EU to combat threatened terrorist activities may have a lasting effect on number of arrivals.

Also importantly, these are cities into which visitors arrived, but are not necessarily the final destinations in themselves for either business or pleasure – they may be a major flight/airline destination. Similarly, the cities themselves may be a jumping-off point for visits to rural areas, for tourist purposes or business.

leading cities in the world for arrivals3

The top 10 arrival destinations are identified below:

RankRegionCityCountry20132014% Increase 2013/2014
1Asia PacificHong KongHong Kong, China25,661.1027,770.008.2
2Western EuropeLondonUnited Kingdom16,784.0017,383.903.6
3Asia PacificSingaporeSingapore17,146.7017,086.20-0.4
4Asia PacificBangkokThailand17,467.8016,245.00-7
5Western EuropeParisFrance15,271.9014,981.70-1.9
6Asia PacificMacauMacau13,935.3014,966.507.4
7Middle East and AfricaDubaiUnited Arab Emirates12,180.0013,200.008.4
8Asia PacificShenzhenChina12,148.9013,120.808
9North AmericaNew York CityUSA11,850.4012,230.003.2
10Western EuropeIstanbulTurkey10,486.3011,87113.2

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