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A man surfs at Big Wave Bay in Hong Kong. Big Wave Bay, or Tai Long Wan, is a bay in the Southern District of Hong Kong island and one of the popular beaches with surfers. EPA-EFE

HONG KONG: Hong Kong has retained the title of the world’s most visited city for the eighth consecutive year in Euromonitor International’s latest Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017 Edition.

Unveiled on Tuesday at the World Travel Market London, the report puts Bangkok in second place and London in third spot, and stresses the pivotal impact of the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism.

In Asia, Bangkok, Singapore, Macau, Shenzhen and Kuala Lumpur make the top ten; and Delhi is expected to see the strongest increase in growth in 2017, with 2.8 million more inbound arrivals compared to 2016.

Chief economist Dr Anthony Dass said the transition will not deviate significantly from the ongoing weak inflation trajectory. NST Filepix

Denpasar in Bali is also expected to grow sharply alongside other Indonesian cities in the wake of the waiving of visa requirements for Chinese visitors. Although Shenzhen is the only mainland city in the top 10, five other Chinese cities appear in the ranking – Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Zhuhai and Guilin.

“Hong Kong remains the top city in the world as it benefits from its strategic location and relationship with China,” says Wouter Geerts, senior analyst at Euromonitor International.

“However, it saw growth dip in 2017 as relations with China were strained, but growth will pick up again from 2018 to 2025.

The top ten most visited cities are:

1. Hong Kong: 26.6 million visitors

2. Bangkok: 21.2 million visitors

3. London: 19.2 million visitors

4. Singapore: 16.6 million visitors

5. Macau: 15.4 million visitors

6. Dubai: 14.9 million visitors

7. Paris: 14.4 million visitors

8. New York: 12.7 million visitors

9. Shenzhen: 12.6 million visitors

10. Kuala Lumpur: 12.3 million visitors -- SCMP

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