Popular cities: Flicks that launch a thousand trips

EUROMONITOR, a research firm, has released a list of the world’s most visited cities in 2012. The ever-increasing clout of Chinese tourists is the big story. Many of the top cities, particularly those in Asia, such as Hong Kong, Bangkok and Macau are reliant on Chinese visitors. In Hong Kong, the most visited city of all, for example, Mainland Chinese accounted for 64% of the total overnight visitors. That is an increase of 11% compared with 2011. Without it, reckons Euromonitor, arrivals would have been flat.

As travel restrictions are lightened and the middle class rises, the importance of Chinese tourists is only going to increase. In 2013, the number of travellers leaving the country broke the 100m mark. CSLA, a bank, says that number could double by 2020. Spending by Chinese tourists is already the highest in the world; in 2012, they handed over $102 billion, overtaking Germany and the US.Which helps to explain why the number of Chinese tourists visiting Bangkok increased by an incredible 62% in 2012 compared with 2011. But it is not the only reason. It was also due to a hugely successful Chinese film called “Lost in Thailand” (pictured above). This knockabout comedy, apparently reminiscent of “The Hangover Part II”, was such a hit that it persuaded thousands to jet off and enjoy the country’s beaches, temples and cuisine. It is interesting to consider the …

Link to article: www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2014/01/popular-cities?fsrc=rss

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