Honk Kong Remains the Most Popular Tourist Destination for Second Consecutive Year
Hong Kong remains the most visited city in the world by international tourists despite strained relations with China, Bloomberg reports.
In a top 100 report of the world's most visited cities in 2017, highlighting the growth of Asian tourism, the Euromonitor International consulting firm says 25.7 million people are expected to visit Hong Kong this year.
The figure is 3.2% lower than in 2016, largely because of the tensions with China, which intensified this year, while Beijing is trying to exert more control over the territory.
Euromonitor expects the decline to be short-lived and growth will accelerate again next year as it is expected visitors to Hong Kong to reach a remarkable 45 million by 2025.
Visits to London increased by 3.4% in 2017, largely due to the 15% fall in pounds after the country's declaration of exit from the European Union in June last year. This has helped to change the perceptions that Britain is an expensive place for tourism.
The study also reveals that extremist attacks have had different effects on cities. Although Istanbul reports a decline of 5.8% in tourists this year - to 9.2 million, cities like London, Paris and Barcelona have no long-term consequences.
The report shows that much of the tourism to Istanbul and other Mediterranean destinations affected by the attacks, such as Tunisia and Egypt, has shifted to Greece and Italy, which are considered "relatively quiet and stable".
Greece is set to a record year, with the city of Heraklion reporting the fastest growth in popularity in Europe - tourists there have increased by 11.2% this year to over 3 million people. The Greek capital Athens also enjoys a rise with an increase in the number of tourists of 10%, which moves it one position up in the ranking to 47.
New York is the US city that is ranked first, keeping its eighth place after rise in visits with 3.6% to 13.1 million in 2017. Miami is the second most visited US city with 8,1 million people and a growth of 3.1%.
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