There is no Nigerian city that featured in the ranking of 100 most popular cities with international visitors in 2019. Not Lagos, not Abuja. But Egypt’s Red Sea resort town Hurghada, Johannesburg in South Africa and Marrakech in Morocco made the list.
Dubai, the favourite destination by some Nigerians is 7th among the top 10. Hong Kong despite its crisis in the last few months is number one, followed by Bangkok, Macau, Singapore, London, Paris.
India’s capital Delhi, Turkey’s commercial capital of Istanbul and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur make up the rest of the Top 10 most visited cities in the world, according to the rankings published today, by UK-based market research consultancy Euromonitor International.
Dubai received 16.3 million international arrivals, beating Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and New York with 14.7m, 14.1m and 14m visitors.
“Dubai continues to lead the [Middle East] region in terms of numbers of arrivals, despite a flat growth rate during 2018,” the report said. “A free transit visa for two days for Dubai and Abu Dhabi helped to sustain arrival numbers.”
Saudi Arabian cities, such as Mecca or Makka, Riyadh and Medina are in the top 50 destinations. Mecca is No. 20, Medina 23, Riyadh 49th. Damman is 64th.
Johannesburg tops most favoured destination in Africa. It is 54th in the ranking, followed by Marrakech at 75th. Egypt’s tourist city of Hurgada is 82nd.
Globally, inbound arrivals are expected to grow 4.2 per cent this year to 1.5 billion trips in 2019. Euromonitor’s list shows tourism in Asia is outpacing other regions.
Asia accounts for 43 of the top 100 cities, rising steadily since 2013, because of higher income levels and the increasing number of Chinese as well as millennial travellers from Asian economies boosting intra-regional travel.
Europe is the second biggest region that travellers visit in 2019, however, London dropped two places to the fifth position because of uncertainty around Brexit. North America performed well, but most American cities slipped in the study because of competition from Europe and Asia.
Euromonitor’s list includes 13 Middle Eastern cities with the region posting an 8.7 per cent rise in tourist arrivals and 9.1 per cent increase in tourism earnings year-on-year in 2019.
Euromonitor’s research covers 400 cities around the world to examine international visitors who stay in the country for longer than 24 hours and less than 12 months. These arrivals include all purposes of visit, such as business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives. It excludes those in employment, who study abroad, military personnel, transportation crew, and people displaced because of war or natural disasters.
The 2019 rankings were calculated using the estimated arrivals figure based on part-year data.
Read the full report: Top 100 City Destinations