Euromonitor International recently released the “Top 100 City Destinations 2019” ranking report, covering the world’s leading cities ranked by international tourist arrivals in 2018. In Africa, only Cairo, Egypt, Johannesburg, South Africa and Marrakech, Morocco appear in top 100, making the continent the worst performing in a tourist attraction.
According to the report by global market research company Euromonitor International, global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 4.2% to 1.47 billion trips in 2020, with the top 100 cities covering nearly 47% of global arrivals.
This year’s report, covering the world’s leading cities ranked by international tourist arrivals shows that 5 out of the top 10 most visited cities in 2018 are in the Asia Pacific, with Hong Kong listed as the most visited city in the world, followed by Bangkok.
According to the report, leading visitor destinations in the Middle East and Africa remain concentrated within the Gulf region, with 7 of the 12 cities in the ranking from the Gulf: Dubai continues to lead the region in terms of numbers of arrivals, despite a flat growth rate during 2018, and is the only city from the MEA region in the global top 10.
In Africa, the Single African Transport Market Initiative, signed by 23 African Union member states, aims to improve aviation and transport within the region and uplift the tourism industry through shared benefits.
In North Africa, Egypt remains the leading destination following an active tourism reform strategy. Sharm-el-Sheikh, Hurgada, Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor have all seen strong growth, with the return of visitors from the U.K. and Russia. Additionally, many Sub-Saharan African countries are capitalizing on local experiences and offering customized travel experiences targeting both luxury and family travellers.
Johannesburg retains its place among the top 50 cities on account of continued business travel to South Africa. Key tourism destinations such as Seychelles remain popular among regional travellers. Seychelles saw an increase in visitors on account of arrivals from countries with visa-free travel and gained wider popularity as a go-to wedding destination.
Mauritius has always been popular among leisure visitors for its beaches. However, as the government improves investment on other economic fronts to improve employment and enhance infrastructure, business travel to Mauritius is forecast to grow.
Rabia Yasmeen, senior analyst at Euromonitor International comments: “Amid the current situation in Hong Kong, leading to a sharp decline in the number of visitor arrivals this year at -8.7%, the city is expected to maintain its leading position in 2019.”
In the Middle East and Africa, Euromonitor records a steady growth when compared to the rest of the world, with Cairo and Hurghada showing a sharp recovery in the ranking, owing to an active tourism reform strategy.
“As tourism becomes a cornerstone for economic growth and receives more committed attention from governments, cities are expected to be the centre of innovation and investment with technology and sustainability as key focus areas in the years to come,” concludes Yasmeen.