Macau fifth most popular travel destination in the world

Macau is the fifth most popular travel destination in the world, according to a Euromonitor International ranking based on 2017 international arrivals data. Numbers released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicate that visitor arrivals topped 32.61 million in 2017, up by 5.4 percent year-on- year.

Worldwide, inbound arrivals will probably increase 5 percent to reach 1.4 billion trips in 2018, according to the London-based market research company’s Top 100 City Destinations report, which was released Tuesday.

Arrivals to this year’s top-100 city destinations are poised to increase by 7.5 percent overall, the importance of city hubs for the global travel industry expanding, said Wouter Geerts, a travel research consultant with Euromonitor. Asia continues to rise in the rankings, accounting for 41 out of this year’s top 100 cities.

Areas of the Middle East and Africa will probably benefit least, with cities such as Jerba and Sousse in Tunisia, and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, dropping out of the rankings “mainly due to terrorist attacks and subsequent slumping demand,” Geerts said, adding that Cairo is defying the trend with a resurgence in arrivals.

Japan and India stand out for their strong growth in inbound city arrivals. Cities such as Osaka and Chiba have shown average annual growth of 43 percent and 35 percent respectively from 2012 to 2017, while Delhi and Mumbai have averaged more than 20 percent annual growth.

Porto, named Europe’s leading destination at the 2018 World Travel Awards, is another city to watch, according to Euromonitor. The Portuguese city is predicted to benefit from a 7 percent increase in arrivals in 2018, and has advanced 42 slots in the rankings since 2012 to reach the top 100 this year.

Hong Kong leads the list of cities with the most arrivals. It is forecast to receive 29.8 million people in 2018, 7 percent more last year. Bangkok, London, Singapore, Macau, Paris, Dubai, New York, Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen, China, round out the 10-most popular destinations, according to Euromonitor. MDT/Bloomberg

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