London 'attracts more tourists than Paris'

Roshina Jowaheer
London skyline seen from the River Thames
London skyline seen from the River Thames

London is Western Europe's leading city for tourist arrivals and received 16.8 million visitors in 2013, beating rival city Paris which attracted 15.2 million holidaymakers.

Euromonitor's Top City Destinations Ranking covers 100 of the world's leading cities in terms of international tourist arrivals.

London, Paris and Antalya were the only cities named in the top 100 cities, with Hong Kong topping the list with nearly 25.6 million visitors in 2013. Asian cities Singapore and Bangkok followed, while London received the fourth biggest number of tourists.

Turkey featured strongly in the list, with Antalya, Istanbul and Artvin all showing good growth for the year. Russian arrivals were key to this growth, with Antalya hosting 75 per cent of all visitors from Russia to Turkey.

Visas are not required for Russians staying less than 60 days in Turkey, and Antalya provides beach locations such as Kemer, Alanya, Belek, Kas, and Side, which are popular with Russian tourists.

Zurich in Switzerland saw one of the highest growth rates for arrivals in Europe, at 23.6 per cent, and welcomed 2.26 million arrivals in 2013. Increasing numbers of tourists from China and Russia are visiting the city, aided by the fact that Switzerland is within the Schengen visa zone, and offers excellent transportation links and air connections.

The increase in arrivals to these cities shows their economic strength, as well as the importance of urban centres to global tourism, both business and leisure.

Top 10 cities and arrivals in 2013

1. Hong Kong 25,587.3
2. Singapore 22,455.4
3. Bangkok 17,467.8
4. London 16,784.1
5. Paris 15,200.0
6. Macau 14,268.5
7. New York City 11,850.4
8. Shenzhen 11,702.5
9. Kuala Lumpur 11,182.4
10. Antalya 11,120.7

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