Paris is the top-ranked city in the new Top 100 City Destinations Index. Eight of the top 10 cities are European. Asia lacks a spot in the top 10, with its highest-ranking, Tokyo, coming in 15th.
Madrid is top for sustainability, and Dublin leads the way for attractiveness and tourism policy.
The index, published in December, comes from analysis of a huge amount of data in Euromonitor International’s market research database.
Euromonitor International is a world-leading independent provider of strategic market research, drawing from a global network of analysts and market research information.
TOP 1O CITY DESTINATIONS 2021
7 NEW YORK CITY
Paris ranked top in terms of tourism performance and second-highest globally for tourism policy and infrastructure. Performance was boosted by American and Asian tourists returning to Paris. The city is in the lower ranks in terms of health and safety, despite efforts to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates in a hesitant population.
Dubai comes second, having held the leading place globally during 2020. The city has been open to international tourists since July 2020, and government efforts to mobilise and support the travel and tourism sector have been significant. Among the top 10 cities in the index, Dubai ranks highest in terms of health and safety. The vaccination process is easy, rates are high, and there are stringent safety measures in public places and tourist spots. Those have combined to give visitors confidence.
German cities made positive strides among the top 10 cities globally in 2021. Berlin increased its ranking by two places during the year, reaching sixth place, and Munich improved by nine places to enter the top 10 ranking.
Spanish cities also feature prominently among the top 10 cities. Barcelona increased in ranking by six places to 10th place, and Madrid is ranked fourth.
London leads globally in terms of tourism infrastructure. It has lots to offer across culture and recreation, and has six commercial airports.
Zurich is the second-most improved city for tourism infrastructure, with the opening of shopping and dining avenues and improvement in transportation.
TOP 10 CITIES FOR HEALTH & SAFETY
This is the most improved pillar within the index.
Sixty per cent of all cities expanded hygiene protocols and social protection levels.
European cities made the most progress, with 33 of the 39 destinations showing improvements.
Singapore leads in health and safety globally.
Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates stand at the top of the rankings in the Gulf region.
Vienna features in the top 10 cities for health and safety, rising by 38 places, due to Austria’s stringent safety and hygiene measures.
5 ABU DHABI
The pandemic has prompted major shifts in tourism policy. Governments worldwide have been supporting domestic tourism. Paris leads the tourism performance ranking because of strong domestic travel during 2021.
A spokesperson for Euromonitor says: “The need for balanced tourism strategies is key for cities, as highlighted by the pandemic. Strategies must focus on investment in tourism infrastructure and fostering tourism attractiveness, as well as putting greater emphasis on having a sustainable tourism offering which elevates destinations in terms of their health and safety and promotes domestic travel demand.
“While technology is expected to play a key role in facilitating many of these efforts, engaging local communities and businesses will be vital as cities work on easing the impact of the pandemic on local economies.”
Global tourism improved by 51 per cent in terms of international arrivals and 30 per cent in terms of domestic tourism trips in 2021 over the previous, disastrous year.
ABOUT THE INDEX
The index compares 54 metrics across six key pillars for the 100 city destinations, giving a comprehensive and multi-layered analysis of key and emerging city hubs. Through this we see resilience in times of adversity and opportunities for sustainable strategies. The index aims to help businesses, tourism organisations and destinations identify cities that are showing strong tourism growth potential.