The Euromonitor International Tourist Destination Cities 2017 ranking is out, and it paints a pretty picture for international travel and tourism this year.
International tourism continues to boom as low fuel prices bring down travel costs, putting international destinations within reach of more travelers each year. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals number over 1.2 billion people annually and they spend over $1.4 trillion (USD), making international tourism a major financial component of the world economy.
Travel Concentration in Top International Destination Cities
A big slice of the international tourism pie goes to a small number of popular cities each year. Just the top 15 international tourist destination cities welcomed 211 million guests in 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available, representing about a sixth of all the international tourists that year.
A Bright Future for the Travel Industry
That such a small number of cities consistently commands the interest of so many tourists bodes well for the industry as a whole. Surely travelers will expand their interest to new locations and additional destinations each year. Once a tourist catches the international travel bug, they often increase both their quantity and frequency of travel, repeating favorite destinations, expanding horizons to new, nearby cities, and eventually striking out towards distant shores yet unexplored.
Current Trends Cited in the Destination Cities 2017 Report
Current trends reflect the rise of Asia, with 11 cities on the list, followed by Europe with 4 and North America 1. The number of Asian cities is a significant measure of the growing interest in international travel for rising Asian populations. As their wealth increases and they exhaust local options, they can be expected to travel farther afield.
The absence of any South American, African, or Middle Eastern cities on the list underlines the limited distribution of current tourist activity and the tremendous potential to increase prosperity in poorer areas through attractive travel options for international tourists.
Here are the top 15 international tourist destination cities 2017, ranked by Euromonitor.
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