APAC takes lion’s share of world’s fastest growing cities: WTTC

Chengdu (pictured) among the top 10 fastest growing tourism cities over the past decade

Four of the five fastest-growing cities by travel and tourism GDP contribution over the past decade are located in China, WTTC found in its annual Cities Report.

Of the 72 cities deemed most important for tourism in the WTTC report, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou took top spots as the fastest growing in the past 10 years, while Shanghai is ranked as the largest city by travel and tourism in 2017.

Chengdu (pictured) among the top 10 fastest growing tourism cities over the past decade

Chinese cities have matured rapidly over the past decade, and are forecast to continue dominating the growth charts between 2017 and 2027. Shanghai, for example, went from being the eighth largest city in terms of travel and tourism GDP in 2007 to become the largest in 2017 – a position it is expected to maintain until 2027.

Meanwhile, the rapid growth of Guangzhou will take it to fourth place, and Chongqing is forecast to join the top 15 for the first time, WTTC posits. This comes following a period of sustained infrastructure development, including investments in airports and extensive product development.

The Chinese domestic and outbound markets will drive growth in the coming decade, with the majority of top performers maintaining their positions. Chinese cities will continue to lead, although a slowdown in growth is expected.

With the exception of Marrakech, the cities in the top 10 ranking of fastest growing travel & tourism GDP in the coming decade are in Asia-Pacific.

Considering 2017 alone, Cairo (34.4%) was the fast-growing city in terms of travel and tourism GDP contribution, followed by Macau (14.2%).

The world’s top 10 cities in terms of tourism market size in 2017 are Shanghai (US$35 billion), Beijing (US$32.5 billion), Paris (US$28 billion), Orlando (US$24.8 billion), New York (US$24.8 billion), Tokyo (US$21.7 billion), Bangkok (US$21.3 billion), Mexico City (US$19.7 billion), Las Vegas (US$19.5 billion) and Shenzhen (US$19 billion).

Looking at job creation, the world’s top 10 cities are Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Shenzhen.

WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara commented: “With 54% of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have become global economic hubs, driving growth and innovation. They attract huge quantities of people who travel to experience their culture, do business and live. This growth has also resulted in a rise in city tourism – a trend which is forecasted to maintain momentum.”

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