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  • HK tops list of most-visited city in 2015, Kuala Lumpur at 10th place

    New York, USA — Bangkok bumped London to become the second most-visited city in 2015 while Hong Kong, despite registering lower arrival numbers than the preceding period, maintained its stronghold as the top city destination in the world.

    Those are among some of the conclusions out of a new report from international market research group Euromonitor, which looked at the final incoming travel data for the year 2015 to compile their “Top 100 Cities Destinations Ranking.”

    Throughout 2015, Hong Kong received 26.7 million international visitors, bagging the title of most-visited city for the seventh consecutive year. That’s even after experiencing a 4 per cent dip in visits that year.

    Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s loss appears to have been Bangkok’s gain in 2015, as the Thai capital saw a 10 per cent growth in arrivals, nudging the city into second spot past London.

    That doesn’t mean the numbers for London were bad. International arrivals to the British capital also rose seven per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year.

    The city also remained the top European city destination, outpacing its nearest rival Paris which suffered the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks earlier that year.

    Researchers also noted the impressive growth of Japanese cities: Osaka leapfrogged an impressive 27 spot landing in 55th place, while Kyoto also rose 11 spots.

    The city that is considered the birthplace of geisha culture and home to more than 1,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, also got a boost by Travel + Leisure magazine, which named Kyoto the world’s best city of 2015 in the summer, based on reader votes.

    Tokyo jumped six places to rank 17th.

    In the Americas, New York was the most popular destination throughout 2015, while Peru got a nine per cent boost in visitors thanks to its growing reputation as a culinary destination.

    And in the Middle East, Dubai was the top performer, recording an eight per cent increase in international arrivals.

    Here are the world’s top 10 cities for 2015:

    1. Hong Kong
    2. Bangkok, Thailand
    3. London, UK
    4. Singapore
    5. Paris, France
    6. Macau
    7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    8. Istanbul, Turkey
    9. New York, US
    10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • China tourists flooding Malaysia over long weekend

    Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA — Local tour agencies are having their hands full with the increase in tourists from China arriving in the country this weekend for the Chinese New Year holidays.

    Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association president Datuk Albert Tan Sam Soon said many tourists from China were taking advantage of the long Chinese New Year holiday to come to Malaysia.

    He said the drastic increase in the number of tourists from China coming to Malaysia has forced several tour agencies to obtain temporary tour guide pass to handle the visitors.

    Penang, Malacca, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Sabah and Sarawak are the main destinations for tourists from China arriving in the country this week.

    Tan attributed the increase in tourists from China coming to Malaysia to the introduction of more flight routes between Malaysia and major towns in China.

    The implementation of e-visa and electronic travel registration and information by the government since March last year also attracted more tourists from China to come to Malaysia, he added.
    He said efforts by the Malaysian Tourism and Culture Ministry in promoting the country in China was also a factor.

    Tam said the association, with 800 members in Penang, Perak, Johor Bahru and Sabah, was ready to receive the Chinese visitors.

    He expected about four million tourists from China to come to Malaysia this year.

    Prior to this, it was reported that 2.2 million Chinese nationals applied to visit Malaysia between March and December last year, from only 1.2 million during the corresponding period in 2015.

    In 2015, tourists from China spent about RM5.7 billion, or an average of RM3,500 per person, during their stay in the country.

  • Hong Kong a big part of Malaysia Airlines’ planned comeback

    Hong Kong — After reputation battered by 2014 disasters, company to extend reach into China, and bet big on flights between city and Kuala Lumpur. Read More

  • Sarawak to ink MoU with tourism consortium from China today

    Kuching, MALAYSIA —  The state government is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air connectivity and integrated tourism investments with the Chinese tourism industry players at the Chief Minister’s Office here today. Read More

  • ‘Island Hopping’ Package To Add Value To Tourism Activities In Kuala Muda

    Sungai Petani, MALAYSIA — An ‘Island Hopping’ package starting from the Semeling Jetty here to three islands in Yan, scheduled to commence in February, is expected to add value to tourism activities in the Kuala Muda district. Read More

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