Macau has gone up one place to 4th at the Top 100 City Destinations 2019 report, compiled by the UK based market research company Euromonitor International, and is expected to go up higher in the next report.
Hong Kong topped the list followed by Bangkok and London, with 10 of the Top 15 international destinations being located in Asia, including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Shenzhen.
However, the report indicates that London is expected to lose its place among the top 3 cities in the future 2019/2020 report, being overtaken by Macau and Singapore.
Meanwhile, the Chinese city of Shenzhen was considered a major absentee at the top of the international ranking this year, as it dropped from 10th in the ranking last year to 13th this year.
‘[Shenzhen] was replaced by the boost of visitors to Istanbul and Antalya in Turkey. Shenzhen, however, is expected to benefit from the political unrest continuing in Hong Kong,’ the report sent to MNA indicated.
The ranking is based on research conducted by Euromonitor International on 600 cities and highlights the top 100 cities based on 2018 international arrivals information and partially estimated data from 2019.
Arrivals are defined as any person visiting another country for at least 24 hours, for a period not exceeding 12 months, and staying in paid or unpaid, collective or private accommodation.
Each arrival is counted separately and includes people traveling more than once a year and people visiting several cities during one trip, with arrivals including all purposes of visit, such as business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives.
Arrivals also exclude domestic visitors, same-day visitors, people in transit and cruise passengers, those in paid employment abroad and students that stay in a country for a period of more than 12 months.
The ranking also focuses mainly on city hubs and excludes beach and ski resorts that may enjoy high volumes of international visitors.
Under the parameters set by the study, Macau recorded 18.9 million international visitor arrivals in 2018, some 9 per cent more than in the previous year, and with that amount expected to increase 9.2 per cent in 2019 to 20.6 million.
According to local official data, a total of 33.4 million people visited Macau between January and October of this year, 15.3 per cent year-on-year rise, but with about half being same-day visitors and with the majority being Mainland Chinese.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong was expected to maintain its leading position in 2019, despite anti-government protests during the second half of the year negatively impacting inbound arrivals.
The neighbouring SAR was said to have received 29.2 million visitors in 2018, with that number estimated to decrease 8.7 per cent in 2019 to 26.7 million.
‘Recent infrastructure development such as the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, as well as the commissioning of the high-speed rail link connecting Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou have led to the consistent growth in arrivals from China over 2017–2018,’ the report noted.
‘While the congestion at Hong Kong International Airport is a key challenge, regional airports are expected to compete for air space and establish major travel hubs, especially Shenzhen. Shenzhen is close to Hong Kong and has good transport connectivity with an international airport and a high-speed rail.’