(CNN): Europe has been winning the tourism game in 2022, says a new report by a UK-based market research company called — no bias intended — Euromonitor.
Each year, its annual report compares the attractiveness of 100 cities worldwide across six categories — or “pillars” — including tourism policy and performance, sustainability, infrastructure, health and safety and economic performance.
In the pre-Covid era, when the index ranked leading destinations by number of international arrivals, the top of the list was dominated by Asian destinations — with Hong Kong and Bangkok leading the charge.
But now, for the second year running, Paris has held onto the top spot in the Top 100 City Destinations Index 2022, while eight out of the top 10 cities are its European neighbors.
The new report, obtained exclusively by CNN, praises the French capital as “the world’s best-performing destination,” due to its “exceptional performance across the Tourism Policy and Attractiveness, Tourism Infrastructure and Tourism Performance pillars.”
Dubai once again was number two on the list, but took the top spot when it came to actual international arrivals. More than 12 million inbound trips were made to Dubai this year — almost double last year’s performance.
This would have been helped in no small part by the delayed Expo 2020 Dubai, which ran from October 2021 to March 2022.
Globally, inbound arrivals increased by more than 80% this year in terms of numbers of trips.
Asia is the one to watch
Intra-regional travel, easing of Covid-related restriction and the rebound of international travel were all key to the attractiveness of cities which shined in 2022.
However, said Euromonitor, “Asia is the region to watch in 2023 as the return of international travel, both inbound and outbound, is sure to shake up the rankings.”