SA city among most visited in the world

A new report by Euromonitor International has ranked the top 100 global destinations based on the number of travellers visiting over the course of a year.

The report is based on the results of a global research program, looking at data sourced directly from national stats offices, airport arrivals and hotel/accommodation stays.

The group only takes into account travellers who treat the cities in question as their primary destination, even if they travel through other cities to reach it.

The 2014 report (which looks at official data for 2013) notes that over a third of all destinations travelled to are in the Asia-Pacific region; notably, 11 of the top 20 cities ranked are located in Asia.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok remain the top destination cities in the world, with continued growth in tourist traffic.

Top 10 global destinations

Hong Kong – 25.6 million visitors

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Singapore – 22.5 million visitors

Singapore
Singapore

Bangkok – 17.5 million visitors

Bangkok
Bangkok

London – 16.8 million visitors

London
London

Paris – 15.2 million visitors

Paris
Paris

Macau – 14.3 million visitors

Macau
Macau

New York City – 11.9 million visitors

New York
New York

Shenzhen – 11.7 million visitors

Shenzhen
Shenzhen

Kuala Lampur – 11.2 million visitors

Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur

Antalya – 11.1 million visitors

Antalya
Antalya

Johannesburg was ranked as the 33rd most popular destination in the world, with 4.5 million people visiting the city; up 3.3% from the prior year.

In the listing of top 100 destinations, Johannesburg is the only South African city to crack the ranking, with Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh, in Egypt, and Djerba and Sousse, in Tunisia, being the only other African cities ranked.

Top African destinations

Rank City International Visitors
33 Johannesburg 4 512 200
65 Cairo 2 625 000
68 Djerba 2 538 400
85 Sharm el Sheikh 2 046 000
95 Sousse 1 844 200
Johannesburg at Sunset
Johannesburg at Sunset

Two rankings, one city

The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which tracks projected total travellers for the year, also listed Johannesburg as the top African destination in 2014.

The index projected a 5% increase in international overnight visitors to the city, totalling an estimated 4.3 million people.

For Cape Town, MasterCard estimated just over 1.6 million visitors, with 890,000 for Durban.

These estimates are based on MasterCard data relating to inbound travel and cross-border spending by visitors in the specified cities.

According to Euromonitor, an increasingly connected world is making it easier to attract visitors from all over the world.

However, the group said that geopolitical unrest, economic decline and natural disasters are unpredictable, and can quickly turn the opportunities to challenged.

“It is important for city destinations to be prepared to quickly respond to the constantly evolving global landscape to have their tourism industries thrive,” the body said.

You can view the full top 100 cities on the site.

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SA city among most visited in the world