Three Greek cities are among the top 100 most visited city destinations in 2019, according to a report released this week by UK-based market research firm Euromonitor.
Athens is the only Greek city moving 18 spots up the list thanks to a 19.4 percent rise in the number of arrivals in 2018, expected to increase by 10 percent to 6,301,300 arrivals in 2019.
Over the 2013-2018 period, Athens climbed 15 spots on the Euromonitor ranking and two more in 2018-2019.
At the top, Hong Kong, which was named the most visited destination in the world in 2019 and set to welcome a total of 26 million international tourists by the end of the year.
Besides Hong Kong, the top 10 in terms of arrivals for 2019, according to the Euromonitor International Top 100 City Destinations report are: Bangkok with 25,847,800 arrivals; London – 19,559,900 arrivals; Macau – 20,637,100 arrivals; Singapore – 19,760,800 arrivals; Paris – 19,087,900 arrivals; Dubai – 16,328,300 arrivals; New York City – 14,010,000 arrivals; Kuala Lumpur – 14,072,400 arrivals, and Istanbul, which is a new entry to the top 10 moving up two spots from its 2018 position with 14,715,900 arrivals for 2019.
According to Euromonitor’s analysts, a growing number of travelers are seeking local experiences at the destinations they visit as reflected in the decline of popular European city break destinations and a rise in such places as Croatia, Slovenia and Sweden.
It should be noted that there were over 40 new entries in this year’s report.
“They are proving popular as travelers seek newer, more localized experiences and less crowded locations,” says Euromonitor. “The popularity and increased number of low-cost carriers to these destinations has also favored growth of previously less explored destinations.”
In the meantime, Asian cities are still in the lead thanks to the growing demand for travel by the Chinese. Indicatively, Asia recorded the fastest growth in the number of international arrivals.
According to Euromonitor, cities to watch out for include Singapore, thanks to its “strong tourism strategy” and ability to “market the authentic local experience to offer authenticity and variety”, and Red Sea beach resort town of Hurghada in Egypt, which moved up 45 spots on this year’s list to number 82nd, attributed to the upgraded Terminal 2 at Hurghada International Airport.
Completing the top 20 cities based on 2018 arrivals and 2019 estimates are: Delhi – 15,196,500 arrivals; Antalya – 13,332,100 arrivals; Shenzhen, China – 12,324,100 arrivals; Mumbai – 12,442,400; Phuket, Thailand – 10,965,200; Rome – 10,317,000; Tokyo – 10,443,100; Pattaya, Thailand – 9,951,900 arrivals; Taipei, Taiwan – 9,981,700 arrivals; and Mecca, Saudi Arabia – 9,833,000 arrivals.
The Euromonitor report includes data on tourism arrivals from over 400 cities, excluding domestic visitors, day-trippers and cruise passengers.