Hong Kong was the most visited destination of 2019 among international travelers, despite the political unrest that has rocked the city since the second half of the year.
That’s according to the latest edition of the “Top 100 City Destinations 2019” report released on Tuesday by market research group Euromonitor, which looked at international arrivals over the last year.
Despite experiencing a sharp decline of nine percent in international visitor arrivals this year due to violent clashes between police and anti-government protestors, Hong Kong is expected to maintain its position as the leading city of 2019.
Of Hong Kong’s 26.7 million international visitors, half come from mainland China, traditionally attracted by the city’s vibrant shopping scene and strong cultural heritage, notes report author Rabia Yasmeen.
In recent years, the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and the development of the high-speed rail link connecting Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou have also led to consistent growth.
Meanwhile, globally, inbound visits to Asia outpaced other regions again this year: Asian cities account for 43 of the top 100 cities.
Likewise, half of the top 10 list is made up of Asian cities.
The report considered international overnight arrivals who stayed for a minimum period of 24 hours and a maximum period of 12 months.
Overall, global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 4 percent in 2019, to 1.5 billion trips.
Like Hong Kong, London also managed to maintain its position as the leading Western destination, despite Brexit.
Here are the top 10 city destinations of 2019 according to Euromonitor:
1. Hong Kong
8. New York
9. Kuala Lumpur