Hong Kong made a comeback to the world’s most visited destinations in 2023, by bagging the No. 17 spot on Euromonitor International’s latest Top 100 City Destinations Ranking. According to the study, the city saw the “biggest increase in the number of international trips”, with a 2,495% increase in international arrivals.

However, the study maintains that the SAR still has “much to gain when compared to the global high of 24 million inbound trips in 2019”, when it bagged the No. 1 spot in the rankings that year. Other Asian cities that made the top 20 include Tokyo (No. 4), Singapore (No. 11), Seoul (No. 14), and Osaka (No. 16).

8New York
The top 10 travel destinations in 2023 (© Euromonitor International)

International arrivals into Hong Kong were hit by the city’s stringent anti-Covid regulations that were in force between 2020 and 2022, which required travellers to isolate themselves in hotels for up to three weeks and get tested regularly for the virus after their arrival. The SAR scrapped its mandatory hotel quarantine restrictions in late 2022, and removed the last of its anti-Covid regulations — the pre-departure testing requirement — in April this year.

After the Hong Kong dropped its anti-pandemic restrictions, authorities kicked off several campaigns to encourage travellers to return to the city. Most notably, the city gave away 500,000 free airline tickets to tourists from across the world as part of the Hello Hong Kong initiative.

See also
New Temple Street Night Market Opening Delayed To Mid-December

The study also states that, “the local government promotes the idea of a cultural hub to meet changing travel demand”, which ties in with official reports noting that post-Covid visitors to the SAR are not only interested in retail therapy, but are also seeking cultural experiences. The city has also brought back several iconic events that were suspended between 2019 and 2022 — such as the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance and its fireworks shows for National Day, New Year, and Lunar New Year — and gave tourists 1 million consumption vouchers to spend at restaurants, bars, hotels and other attractions in the territory.

The Top 100 City Destinations Index looks at leading cities from around the world and ranks them on criteria including tourism, sustainability, economic performance, and health and safety. The report explores areas of innovation embraced by cities as they fight geopolitical tensions and rising costs of living.  

Header image credits: Elnur via Canva

Share this article with your friends ~
5/5 - (1 vote)

From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

Comments are closed.