5 Lessons From Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Report *

Euromonitor International has published its annual Top City Destinations Ranking report, detailing international tourist arrivals in 100 of the world’s leading cities.

For small hotels and B&Bs, it’s a good chance to see the performance of the local area, discover trends, and develop strategies for increased bookings and revenue success.

While the rankings themselves might not be surprising -Hong Kong tops the list for inbound arrivals -the year-on-year growth statistics provide more interest.

Here are the key findings:

Which cities made the top 10 most visited list?

Most people who travel regularly or work in travel would likely be able to recount the majority of the top 10 without even reading the report given the reputation of those destinations. They are as follows:

  1. Hong Kong (26.6 million yearly visitors)
  2. Bangkok (18.7 million yearly visitors)
  3. London (18.5 million yearly visitors)
  4. Singapore (16.8 million yearly visitors)
  5. Paris (15 million yearly visitors)
  6. Macau (14.3 million visitors)
  7. Dubai (14.2 million yearly visitors)
  8. Istanbul (12.4 million yearly visitors)
  9. New York City (12.3 million yearly visitors)
  10. Kuala Lumpur (12.1 million yearly visitors)

The top 10 remains very similar to the previous year with some reshuffling occurring due to growth rates.

Where did the growth in tourism come from?

Within the report there were some strong performances to note while other destinations showed a strong emergence as tourist powerhouses:

  • Bangkok grew 10% year-on-year, propelling it past London
  • Pattaya, Thailand, also joined the top 20 with growth of 16.5%
  • Phuket was a third entry for Thailand in the top 20 with 8.7% year-on-year growth
  • Istanbul overtook New York City with a 4.8% increase
  • Despite holding on to number one Hong Kong saw a drop of almost 4%
  • Tokyo surged into the top 20 with a 35% year-on-year increase
  • Kyoto was another Japanese city forcing it’s way into the celebrated top 100 with a 47.6% growth rate
  • Osaka was even more impressive, with a 52% increase
  • The most significant deficits in the top 50 came from Seoul (-6%) and Moscow (-13.8%)
  • India consistently produced great results, Delhi and Mumbai both pushing into the top 30 with 26% increases

These figures indicate the popularity of Thailand as a leisure destination going from strength-to-strength, while Japan and India are emerging as two of the more popular countries to visit.

What were the best performers around the world?

Here the best and worst performers for each region of the world.


  • Best performer – Athens, Greece (+22.6%)
  • Worst performer – Moscow, Russia (-13.8%)

The Americas

  • Best performer- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (+9.5%)
  • Worst performer – Cancun, Mexico (-6.5%)

Asia and Australasia

  • Best performer – Osaka, Japan (+52%)
  • Worst performer – Seoul, South Korea (-6%)

Middle East and Africa

  • Best performer – Mecca, Saudi Arabia (+17%)
  • Worst performer – Jerba, Tunisia (-17.3%)

What can accommodation providers learns from the trends?

Some notable trends also emerged on the performance of cities and the sharing economy – something that all accommodation providers should be aware of.

The populations of cities continue to grow meaning travel to these cities will also increase, providing a steady stream of business for properties metropolitan areas. New York City is a case in point. By 2030 it’s economy will be larger than some countries, including Australia.

Accommodation sharers like Airbnb continue to see promising growth thanks to their unique ability to offer properties in locations unavailable to hotels. In general terms they’re often considered a cheaper option but don’t offer the level of service a hotel or B&B would. Paris and London are two cities which take a lenient stance on services like Airbnb, while New York is less welcoming of the trend.

How can small hotels create strategies around these trends?

For small hotels and B&Bs to capitalise on the general growth of tourism there are three simple strategies you can employ:

  1. Think about connections
    Connect to strong OTAs that will have no trouble globalising your area. The world’s biggest sites like TripAdvisor are where the majority of travelers will be searching so you want to make sure you’re visible.
  2. Think about your target guests
    Corner your niche market. Certain channels are also good for attracting specific visitors and smaller independent properties will find this a good direction to go in. Niche OTAs such as Lonely Planet often have lower commissions too because the overall traffic they drive is less than the big players like Booking.com.
  3. Think about how guests will find your small property
    Promote a healthy direct booking and search engine optimization strategy that will have you prominent in the eyes of travelers doing more independent research.

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