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World’s 10 fastest growing tourism cities are all in Asia

October 26, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The world’s top 10 fastest growing tourism cities are all in Asia, according to a study of 65 world cities that ranks them on the extent that travel and tourism contributes to economies and job creation.

Asia Pacific City Travel & Tourism Impact, one of a series of reports by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) covers 65 cities, 21 of which are in the Asia Pacific region.

The data shows that Asian cities will remain at the forefront of tourism growth over the next 10 years. Unsurprisingly, the top five cies are in China. Chongqing (14% growth per year) heads the table, followed by Guanghzhou (13.1%), Shanghai (12.8%), Beijing (12%) and Chengdu (11.2%).


The other cities on the top 10 list are Manila (10.9%), Delhi (10.8%), Shenzhen (10.7%), Kuala Lumpur (10.1%) and Jakarta (10%).

New report shows travel and tourism impact

With the world average growth rate at 4% per year, and Asia Pacific at 5.8%, these cities are significantly outpacing both the regional and global average, the report says. Asia Pacific also includes some of the world’s largest travel and tourism cities.

Shanghai, with an annual tourism GDP contribution of USD 30 billion is the world’s largest; followed by Beijing (USD 27 billion). Tokyo (US$20 billion) is ranked 6th in the world. Shanghai and Beijing together account for 21% of China’s travel and tourism economic impact (GDP), whereas Tokyo alone accounts for 18% of Japan’s total.

The dominance of the Chinese market is clear, both in terms of future growth and overall size and as a main source market for destinations in the wider Asia Pacific region. The success of Chinese cities is largely driven by domestic business (as high as 94.5% of spend in Chongqing is domestic), and the Chinese outbound market is key for neighbouring cities such as Tokyo (11% of spend is Chinese, the largest market) and Bangkok (38%).

President and chief executive of the WTTC, Gloria Guevara, said the data made the power of Asian cities in driving the travel and tourism sector clear to see.

“However, not only do these cities contribute significantly to their country’s tourism sector, tourism is an important generator of economic growth and jobs within the cities themselves. With this level of forecast growth, the importance of investment in long term planning, infrastructure and sustainable public policies cannot be underestimated.

“It is vital that city authorities understand the economic impact of travel and tourism, GDP and employment contribution, and not just visitor arrivals, as they seek to develop new products and opportunities to increase traveller spend and sustainable growth. WTTC has invested in this new research and data to support them in this ambition.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Eight cities in the study contribute more than 25% of their country’s travel and tourism economy, and Sydney is one of them. They are: Auckland, Bangkok, Ho Chi Min City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul and Sydney.
  • Singapore’s travel and tourism has doubled in the past 10 years, to a total of USD12.4 billion in 2016, supporting 164,000 jobs.
  • Tourism in Bangkok generates USD 18.2 billion for the city each year, representing 10% of the city’s economy and 50% of Thailand’s travel and tourism.
  • Delhi and Mumbai together generate over 1 million tourism jobs, 10% of India’s total tourism employment. Macau is the most tourism intensive city in Asia Pacific, with 27% of its economy a direct result of tourism spend.

You can download the report here.

Edited by Peter Needham

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