World’s Top 100 City Destinations for 2023 Revealed

  • Paris retained the title of the world’s top city destination and Dubai and Madrid make up the top three
  • Annual index by global market research company reported on the top global cities for tourism, sustainability and economic performance
  • Europe dominates the index with seven out of the top 10 cities and 63 countries in the top 100 solidifying its world dominance
  • Tokyo moves up to fourth place, entering the top 10 for the first time

Paris remains the world’s most attractive city destination, global market research company Euromonitor International’s annual Top 100 City Destinations Index 2023 has revealed.

Euromonitor International’s report Top 100 City Destinations Index 2023 compares 55 metrics across six key pillars for 100 city destinations, to create an overall city attractiveness score. The six key pillars include: (1) economic and business performance, (2) tourism performance, (3) tourism infrastructure, (4) tourism policy and attractiveness, (5) health and safety, and (6) sustainability.

Seven out of top 10 in Europe, Asia represented strongly in top 20

The annual report issued by Euromonitor International in partnership with data company Lighthouse, revealed that this year’s top 10 ranking was dominated by seven European destinations, with Dubai (2), Tokyo (4) and New York (8) the only non-European names in the top 10.

Paris has retained the title of the world’s leading city destination, followed by Dubai in second place and Madrid in third. Tokyo came in fourth, while Amsterdam rounded up the top five.

Asia saw strong representation in the rest of the top 20 as Singapore (11), Seoul (14), Osaka (16), and Hong Kong (17) all made the list.

The top 20 cities in Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Index 2023 are:

  1. Paris, France
  2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  3. Madrid, Spain
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. Rome, Italy
  8. New York, United States of America
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. London, United Kingdom
  11. Singapore, Singapore
  12. Munich, Germany
  13. Milan, Italy
  14. Seoul, South Korea
  15. Dublin, Ireland
  16. Osaka, Japan
  17. Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
  18. Vienna, Austria
  19. Los Angeles, United States of America
  20. Lisbon, Portugal

Tokyo has entered the top 10 for the first time thanks to improved developments in tourism infrastructure. In addition to the easing of COVID-19-related regulations, the continued weakening of the Yen since 2022 has attracted tourists to the city, boosting hotel occupancy, to enjoy consumer experiences at very low prices.

European destinations command the Index with 12 cities in the top 20 and 63 in the top 100. This is driven by fast-paced urbanisation and widespread technology adoption.

This year showcases four newcomers to the top 100 City Destinations list – Washington DC (48th), Montreal (68th), Santiago (88th) and Vilnius (92nd), thanks to their improved tourism performance.

Developed markets continue to seize control of the rankings with most of the leading cities in the Index for 2023.

Nadejda Popova, Senior Manager (Loyalty) at Euromonitor International, said: “Paris has retained the title of the world’s leading city following exceptional performance across the Tourism Policy and Attractiveness, Tourism Infrastructure and Tourism Performance pillars.

International travel makes a strong recovery in 2023

International travel has continued to make a strong recovery in 2023 with 38% growth in terms of number of trips, projected to reach 1.3 billion by the end of the year.
An important milestone for the recovery of the industry in 2023 has been the return of Chinese international travel, following the removal of the governmental quarantine. Global tourism spending is set to reach USD1.7 trillion in 2023.

Istanbul tops the list for the number of International arrivals in 2023 with 26% growth year-on year followed by London in second place (up 17%) and Dubai in third (up 18%).

Hong Kong (2495%) and Bangkok (142%) saw the biggest year-on-year growth in International arrivals as they were among the last to reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Travellers now seek providers that offer high-speed internet, flexible booking options and comfortable work environments to accommodate remote working. Building a strong digital transformation with the help of disruptive technology, improving sustainability, transportation networks and social impact are some of the key goals cities are embracing today to increase competitiveness, improve their tourism offer and deliver a seamless customer journey.

Popova said: “Rising cost of living, which triggers lower consumer confidence, and fluctuating inflation are expected to be the biggest challenges for the growth of the industry in 2024 and 2025, especially if global recession unveils. Geopolitical volatility represents another risk for the travel industry. “Consumers are expected to look for value for money travel propositions when booking travel. This, in turn, will drive consumer demand for intraregional travel, especially as travel purchases are frequently discretionary. Travellers will continue to favour authentic and local experiences in addition to sustainable tourism alternatives. “Sustainable tourism remains a prominent and evolving topic for global cities.

Destinations are taking various steps to enhance their sustainability practices such as harnessing renewable energy sources, green construction, launching recycling programmes, or investing in emission-free transportation.”

Overtourism is a challenge facing cities

Popova added: “Overtourism is one of the challenges cities are facing, impacting local communities and the environment as tourism rebounds from the COVID-19 crisis. “Some destinations are imposing restrictions, steep taxation or reduction of hotel capacity to help limit the influx of tourists and preserve cultural heritage, while others embrace dispersion strategies that promote alternative or off-the-beaten-path destinations. “Seen by many as a double-edged sword, overtourism underscores the importance of implementing sustainable practices to help drive more responsible tourism over mass travel to benefit the environment as well as local residents.” 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here