Discovery - - DISCOVERIES 新發現 - Mark Jones Editorial director

A RECENT REPORT by global research company Euromonitor predicts that China will be the number one destination for both inbound and outbound tourism by 2030. Lots has been written about the rise of the Chinese travelling classes. But the incredible growth in tourism within the wider region is underrated: according to the report, the increase in visitors to China is mainly due to economic growth and higher incomes in nearby Asian countries – 80 per cent of travellers within Asia come from the continent itself.

The rise of Asia as a destination has been the big story in global tourism since the turn of the century. The growing affluence and wanderlust of Asians themselves is now making the sector – its resorts, its hotels, its cities – even more dynamic and innovative.

Yet when we looked around, we found very few award schemes dedicated to celebrating the best of tourism in Asia. So we invited some of the region’s most avid travellers, members of Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club, to choose the places and experiences that have most impressed them in the past 12 months.

Over 13,000 of them did. The 25 winners – revealed on page 30 – should take a bow. They’ve come through an incredibly stern test. You can see the full shortlist online at discovery.cathaypacific.com/ members-choice-awards.

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