What links Her­ak­lion, Den­pasar and Delhi?

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

“Her­ak­lion is the first place most vis­i­tors en­counter on ar­rival by plane or ferry, and a dusty, rowdy, honk­ing, dis­or­gan­ised mess it can seem,” wrote Christo­pher Somerville af­ter a visit for Tele­graph Travel. “How­ever, it still has the at­mos­phere of an an­cient Mediter­ranean city with a long, densely tan­gled his­tory, a richly re­ward­ing place for a day-long ex­plo­ration on foot.”

Her­ak­lion Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Mu­seum is the world’s great­est showcase of Mi­noan arte­facts, even more so in the wake of an eight-year re­fit.

Mean­while, Artvin in Turkey is firmly off the radar of Bri­tish hol­i­day­mak­ers, but Euromon­i­tor says that it is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion with Ge­or­gians.

Glob­ally, Den­pasar, the cap­i­tal of the In­done­sian is­land of Bali, saw the largest in­crease in ar­rivals, with more than 50 per cent more vis­i­tors this year than last. Jakarta, the In­done­sian cap­i­tal, grew just less than 50 per cent, while ar­rivals to Delhi, In­dia, rose by more than a third.

The re­port, re­leased at the World Travel Mar­ket in Lon­don, ranked the world’s 100 top cities in terms of in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals, as well as chart­ing their po­ten­tial for growth.

The re­search il­lus­trates the grow­ing dom­i­nance of Asian des­ti­na­tions, with six cities in the top 10. De­spite a dip in ar­rivals of 3.2 per cent, Hong Kong still ranked first, with 25.7 mil­lion vis­i­tors. By 2025, Euromon­i­tor es­ti­mated that the city will re­ceive 44.1 mil­lion an­nual ar­rivals – just less than the pop­u­la­tion of Ar­gentina.

In 2010, 34 of the top 100 cities were Asian. This num­ber rose to 41 this year and will be 47 by 2025. “Asia Pa­cific is the stand­out re­gion that has driven change in the travel land­scape over the past decade,” said the re­port. “The im­pact of in­ter-Asian travel, pre­dom­i­nantly from China in par­tic­u­lar, can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated.” Delhi wel­comed more than a third more vis­i­tors this year, com­pared with the same pe­riod in 2016

This growth is best il­lus­trated by the pre­dicted Asian dom­i­nance of the world’s most vis­ited cities for 2025, with all the top five spots as­sumed by des­ti­na­tions in the re­gion, and Lon­don and Paris forced out. Seoul, South Korea’s cap­i­tal, is one city in Asia an­tic­i­pat­ing a slower rate of growth. Ar­rivals have fallen 15 per cent since last year, the re­sult of po­lit­i­cal tension in the re­gion.

The re­port showed Europe’s tourism in­dus­try has been shaken by the ter­ror threat, but vis­i­tors had not been fully de­terred. “De­spite ter­ror­ist at­tacks, the top 10 Euro­pean cities re­main largely un­changed,” it said, “al­though Paris has dropped down the rank­ing fol­low­ing the two high-pro­file at­tacks in 2015.

“Ar­rivals in Is­tan­bul and An­talya have also fallen con­sid­er­ably. The coun­try has been in tur­moil with the on­go­ing war in neigh­bour­ing Syria, ter­ror­ist at­tacks by the so-called Is­lamic State and the Kur­dish PKK and the failed coup in July 2016.

“A fa­mil­iar pic­ture is form­ing, where the sub­sti­tu­tion ef­fect means that cities in rel­a­tively quiet and sta­ble coun­tries are prof­it­ing from un­rest in other coun­tries.”

In the Amer­i­cas, Euromon­i­tor re­vealed that Can­cun in Mex­ico en­joyed the high­est rate of growth. It sits in fifth among the most vis­ited cities in the re­gion; New York is top, fol­lowed by Mi­ami, Las Ve­gas and Los Angeles.

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