Asian cities outnumbered their counterparts in Europe and America in a ranking of destinations by international tourist arrivals in 2017, according to GlobalData.
In the top 10, Asia was represented by seven cities – Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen. In comparison Europe, the Middle East and America were limited to one city each – London, Dubai and New York City respectively.
According to GlobalData, depreciation of most of the Asian currencies (except the Chinese yuan) played a vital role in attracting international visitors to Asian cities.
Bangkok remains the top international tourist destination globally for the third consecutive year, with 20.8 million international visitors in 2017. Tourism-friendly visa policies, strong promotional efforts and low cost connectivity drove Bangkok to the top spot.
London was the second most preferred destination with 20.4 million international visitors riding on the back of depreciation in the value of the British pound since the Brexit referendum, followed by Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong with 17.4 million, 15.8 million and 14 million, respectively.
However, despite lower hotel costs, the occupancy rate in most of the Asian cities was around 70 per cent, lower than cities in Europe and America in 2017. GlobalData attributed this to the growth in hotel development in recent years outstripping the increase in the number of travellers.
Exception is seen in Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul, where business purpose tourists helped maintain occupancy rates at more than 80 per cent. In terms of average daily rate, New York City leads the pack, followed by London.
GlobalData expects Asian cities to continue to dominate the top 10 arrivals ranking, primarily due to reasons such as the advent of LCCs and the development of highways and railways in the region.