16th Feb 2017

Where in the world is the world’s most visited city?

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Aerial view of coloured tents at Hong Kong night market
Leon Della Bosca

Each year, market research group Euromonitor International releases its Top City Destinations Rankings – and this year’s winner is no stranger to the top spot.

With over 26 million visitors travelling to Hong Kong in 2016, it’s little wonder this Asian metropolis is number one in the rankings. And it’s not just the stopover numbers pushing it over the top. Hong Kong is not only a melting pot of culture, cuisine and heritage, it’s also a city of the future, with its mind-blowing architecture and fetish for flashing lights, as well as the more glamorous high-end shopping malls. While it did enjoy top ranking for the seventh year, it is facing difficulties holding the top spot, due to China’s ‘iffy’ political climate.

So, who rounded out the top 10? Here’s the full list:

1. Hong Kong – 26.6 million

2. Bangkok – 18.7 million

3. London – 18.5 million

4. Singapore – 16.8 million

5. Paris – 15 million

6. Macau – 14.3 million

7. Dubai – 14.2 million

8. Istanbul – 12.4 million

9. New York City – 12.3 million

10. Kuala Lumpar – 12.1 million


It seems that Chinese tourists make or break the success of tourism in Asian cities. China’s rapidly rising disposable income also means that other countries are attempting to lure Chinese tourists to their shores, flashing gambling and high-end shopping districts in their faces.

London’s position at number three was helped along by the Rugby World Cup. The UK’s decision to depart from the EU leaves its economy in a rather precarious position, although the new Heathrow development may help London’s cause.

The threat of terrorism is no doubt affecting tourism to the Middle East, but perhaps a little more surprising is how the same threat is affecting visitor numbers to Western European cities, such as Paris, Nice, and Brussels. Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia saw a large increase in international arrivals, and Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy all attracted growing numbers of tourists.



Australia hit the top 100, with Sydney popping in at 59 and Melbourne at 84 – both showing major signs of improvement with a 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers since 2014.

The biggest standout though, was Japan, with a bumper 34 per cent more visitors dropping in on the Land of the Rising Sun.

Read more at Euromonitor International

Which of the top 10 countries have you visited?

Related articles:
World's cheapest destinations
Top 10 affordable destinations
Top 10 Australian destinations





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