Hong Kong tops the list for in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE -

Hong Kong re­mains the world’s most vis­ited city by in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers in spite of strained re­la­tions with neigh­bor­ing China, in­dus­try ex­perts said Tues­day.

In a re­port on the top 100 city des­ti­na­tions that high­lights the growth in Asian tourism, market re­search firm Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional said 25.7 mil­lion ar­rivals are ex­pected in Hong Kong this year.

The fig­ure is down 3.2 per­cent com­pared with 2016, largely be­cause ten­sions with China have grown this year as Bei­jing has sought to ex­er­cise more con­trol on the ter­ri­tory.

Euromon­i­tor ex­pects the down­turn to be short-lived and that growth will pick up again from next year and that ar­rivals to Hong Kong will reach a mas­sive 45 mil­lion by 2025.

The top U.S. city on the list is New York, which re­tains eighth spot af­ter a 3.6 per­cent in­crease in ar­rivals in 2017 to 13.1 mil­lion. Mi­ami was the sec­ond mostvis­ited U.S. city with 8.1 mil­lion ar­rivals, up 3.1 per­cent.

Un­like Hong Kong, the Thai cap­i­tal of Bangkok posted fur­ther in­creases in ar­rivals this year largely linked to tour pack­ages tar­geted at first-time trav­el­ers from China. Its ar­rivals in 2017 are ex­pected to be 9.5 per­cent higher at 21.3 mil­lion, a rise that’s pushed it fur­ther ahead of Lon­don, which re­mains in third spot with 19.8 mil­lion ar­rivals.

Vis­its to Lon­don rose 3.4 per­cent in 2017, largely due to the 15 per­cent fall in the value of the pound since the coun­try’s vote last year to leave the Euro­pean Union. That has helped shift per­cep­tions about Bri­tain be­ing an ex­pen­sive place to visit.

“The cur­rency de­pre­ci­a­tion has been a boon for in­bound tourism into Bri­tain,” said Caro­line Brem­ner, Euromon­i­tor’s head of travel. “It’s now deemed value for money.”

How­ever, Euromon­i­tor warned that the “Brexit bounce” may soon end if the coun­try’s de­par­ture from the EU in March 2019 un­der­mines Lon­don’s dom­i­nant po­si­tion in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try and its sta­tus as a hub for start-up busi­nesses.

The re­search firm said Lon­don is set to set to slip down to sixth in the rank­ings in the com­ing seven year as a re­sult of a rise in travel to Asian cities. Euromon­i­tor ex­pects 47 Asian cities to be in the top 100 by 2025, against 41 now and just 34 in 2010.

“The im­pact of in­terAsian travel, pre­dom­i­nantly from China in par­tic­u­lar, can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated,” said Wouter Geerts, Euromon­i­tor’s se­nior travel an­a­lyst and au­thor of the re­port, which was pre­pared for the World Travel Market, the in­dus­try’s top event. “Asia Pa­cific is the stand­out re­gion that has driven change in the travel land­scape over the past decade and is ex­pected to con­tinue do­ing so in the com­ing decade.”

As­so­ci­ated Press

Hong Kong re­mains the world's most vis­ited city by in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.