Top city destinations in 2021 that are likely to trend in 2022

paris, france: man in cafe. photo michael descharles.
A moment in Paris. Photo: Michael Descharles.

Why is it that time after time certain big cities rise to the top of tourist destination rankings? Both visitors and industry experts like the same destinations so there must be something these cities have done right. Euromonitor has evaluated the world’s big cities for tourism and created an index of 100 best city destinations. Here are the highlights from the report.

Top 10 city destinations in 2021 according to Euromonitor:

  1. Paris, France
  2. Dubai, UAE
  3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  4. Madrid, Spain
  5. Rome, Italy
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. New York City, USA
  8. London, UK
  9. Munich, Germany
  10. Barcelona, Spain

Eight cities in top 10 are located in Europe. Everyone of them, except for Amsterdam, is a large metropolis. For a tourist who seeks new experiences, second and third cities of a region can be more exciting and budget-friendly to visit, for instance, Nice in southern France or Valencia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

Euromonitor’s city ranking is a result from evaluating six factors that have major impact on cities: economic and business environment, tourism performance (are tourists arriving in the city or avoiding it), tourism policy and attractiveness (is a city pleasant and attractive destination to visit), tourism infrastructure (lodging, transportation, attractions, cultural events, everything tourists need during a visit), health and safety, and sustainability.

The index doesn’t directly rate the sights, history, beaches, architecture, nature, food, general price level, language, culture or other factors that many travelers are primarily interested in. However, the six factors that Euromonitor evaluates have long-term impact on life, culture, infrastructure and economy of a city thereby continuously affecting its attractiveness as a travel destination.

Let’s see which cities we find after the top 10 – here are top 11-30 cities for tourists in 2021:

  • 11. Vienna
  • 12. Milan
  • 13. Prague
  • 14. Los Angeles
  • 15. Tokyo
  • 16. Dublin
  • 17. Lisbon
  • 18. Frankfurt am Main
  • 19. Zurich
  • 20. Istanbul
  • 21. Florence
  • 22. Orlando, FL
  • 23. Sydney
  • 24. Singapore
  • 25. Abu Dhabi
  • 26. Athens
  • 27. Venice
  • 28. Las Vegas
  • 29. Brussels
  • 30. Miami
London. Photo by vgallova.
London. Photo by vgallova.

Let’s take one factor that has direct impact on travel experience – tourism infrastructure – and look at the best 10 cities in that regard:

  1. London, UK
  2. Tokyo, Japan
  3. Moscow, Russia
  4. Rome, Italy
  5. Beijing, China
  6. Shanghai, China
  7. Paris, France
  8. Madrid, Spain
  9. Seoul, South Korea
  10. Istanbul, Turkey

The ongoing pandemic has long-term effects on travel. This is critical time for destinations: how they manage the pandemic will influence travel plans now and in the future.

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