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home : news : national news free November 24, 2017

11/7/2017 1:55:00 PM
Hong Kong is world's top city for international tourism

LONDON (AP) - Hong Kong remains the world's most visited city by international travelers in spite of strained relations with neighboring China, a survey by industry experts said today.

The Thai capital of Bangkok posted further increases in arrivals this year largely linked to tour packages targeted at first-time travelers from China. Its arrivals in 2017 are expected to be 9.5 percent highe r at 21.3 million, a rise that's pushed it further ahead of London, which remains in third spot with 19.8 million arrivals.

Visits to London rose 3.4 percent in 2017, largely due to the 15 percent fall in the value of the pound since the country's vote last year to leave the European Union. That has helped shift perceptions about Britain being an expensive place to visit.

Elsewhere, the survey found that extremist attacks have had diverging effects in cities. While Istanbul has seen a 5.8 percent decline in arrivals this year to 9.2 million, cities like London, Paris and Barcelona have seen little long-lasting impact.

Greece is set for a record-breaking year, with the Cretan city of Heraklion the fastest-growing in Europe in the top 100, with arrivals up 11.2 percent this year to more than 3 million. Athens, the Greek capital, is also enjoying a boom, with numbers up 10 percent, lifting its position by one to 47th.

The top U.S. city on the list is New York, which retains eighth spot after a 3.6 percent increase in arrivals in 2017 to 13.1 million. Miami was the second most-visited U.S. city with 8.1 million arrivals, up 3.1 percent.

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