Hong Kong is on course to remain the world’s most visited city in 2019, despite huge anti-government protests that have paralysed the city since June.
The city’s proximity to China (more than 50 per cent of visitors come from mainland China), “vibrant” shopping and “strong cultural heritage” helped to draw almost 27 million arrivals this year, according to the 2019 Euromonitor Top 100 City Destinations report. Hong Kong was the world’s most visited city in 2017 and 2018.
Arrivals are classed as any international tourist visiting the country via the city for at least 24 hours.
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A forecast 26.7 million are expected to arrive in the southern Chinese city in 2019, down 8.7 per cent since 2018 as a result of the protests.
Asian cities are disproportionately represented in the top 100, with 43 of them in the ranking. The continent’s cities are growing the quickest in terms of international arrivals, according to Euromonitor.
In second, third and fourth place for 2019 are Bangkok (25.8 million), Macau (20.6 million) and Singapore (19.7 million) respectively; while Delhi and Kuala Lumpur both appear in the top 10.
Representing Europe, London is in fifth place with 19.6 million expected arrivals this year; Paris comes in sixth place with 19 million; while Istanbul is at number nine with 14.7 million expected tourists this year.
The only Middle Eastern city in the top is Dubai, with a forecast 16.3 million arrivals in 2019.
No North American city appeared in the top 10, although New York City came in 11th place. A shade over 14 million tourists are expected this year.