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    Hong Kong The Most Visited Destination

    Hong Kong The Most Visited Destination – (CNN) — Hong Kong has been beset by political unrest and protests in 2019, but that hasn’t stopped it from being named the most visited destination in the world this year.

    According to UK-based market research company Euromonitor International Top 100 City Destinations 2019 report, the Asian metropolis will clock up 26 million international tourist visits before the year is out.

    It’s a glimmer of good news for the city, whose tourism industry has been suffering after anti-government protests began escalating in June. Violent clashes with police, which have at times led to the closure of Hong Kong’s airport, are believed to have discouraged many visitors, but those still arriving have typically been able to enjoy incident-free trips.

    Euromonitor says the situation has led to an 8.7% decline on the almost 30 million who visited in 2018.

    As well as urban protests, 2019 been characterized in other global locations by discussions about overtourism, as cities crack down on misbehaving tourists and reconsider strategies for handling visiting numbers that are spiraling out of control.

    Despite these hot-button topics, urban centers remain top of many travel must-visit lists. Other popular city vacation spots include Bangkok and London, both holding onto their number two and three spots on Euromonitor’s list.

    Asian cities continue to dominate the charts. This is thanks, Euromonitor says, to the ever-increasing traveling power of Chinese tourists. Asia also has the fastest growth in the number of international arrivals, says Euromonitor.

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    The latest charts isn’t just a repeat of last year’s round-up, with Istanbul a new addition at number 10, up two places from its 2018 position.

    Movers and shakers

    This report follows on the heels of Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, which charts international overnight visitors and ranked Bangkok at the top. Euromonitor’s report includes data on tourism arrivals from over 400 cities — with arrivals defined as international travelers who visit another country for at least 24 hours.

    This means domestic visitors, day-trippers and cruise passengers aren’t included in the numbers. As for the top 100 city destinations, the majority are in Asia, followed by Europe, then the Americas and the Middle East and Africa.

    Euromonitor predicts European Brexit uncertainty could impact future figures: while London is currently holding onto its number three spot, the city is forecast to fall down to number five.

    The report also pinpoints cities to watch out for the future including Singapore, currently placed at number five, which saw a 5.3% increase in visitor arrivals through 2018. Euromonitor highlights Singapore’s “strong tourism strategy” and ability to “market the authentic local experience to offer authenticity and variety.”

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