January 18, 2015

January 18, 2015
Top 20 Cities for Tourists
Part 2

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great weekend so far. It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear which appearances in San Diego and August, Georgia.

Yesterday, I started blogging about the top twenty cities for tourist which I will complete today. If you haven't read yesterday's blog yet, I would suggest you read it first.

10. Seoul, South Korea

Korea's tourism numbers are on the rise, with 8.63 million visitors to the South Korean capital in 2014, up 4.7 percent from the year before. It’s also the eighth-biggest air hub in the world, making a visit to Seoul easy to combine with trips to nearby Japan and China.

9. Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong is once again part of China, this semi-autonomous region is allowed to make many of its own rules. For example, tourists from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain can visit Hong Kong without a visa, although they will require one for the mainland. That relative ease makes Hong Kong a popular getaway in Asia and a way to get a taste of the country's rich cultural heritage—minus the planning.

8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur has experienced slow but steady growth in tourism over the last few years. The majority of its visitors come from other parts of the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia (the fastest-growing group of visitors), Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Still, its relative affordability means that more North Americans are beginning to look to it as a potential destination in 2014 and beyond.

7. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and its ranking on the list this year reflects its central location. Fifty-five percent of tourists in Istanbul come from outside Europe; the city is also becoming popular as an extended layover spot—it was the fastest growing international air hub in 2014.

6. New York, NY

The only American city to land on the list, New York remains a big hit with tourists with nearly 12 million visitors coming through annually. It’s also unsurprisingly the most-visited city in all of North America, with Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto, and San Francisco rounding out the rest of the top five.

5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai has become synonymous with luxury; it’s no coincidence that this over-the-top city is a high-end playground for shopping fanatics and home to an indoor ski slope. Tourism is now such a big industry in Dubai, there are actually more visitors than residents—the city counted about 4.8 guests per local in 2014.

4. Singapore

Singapore may be a small country (its nickname is the "little red dot") but its wide range of cultural offerings makes it a popular place to visit. There are cultural attractions like the National Museum of Singapore, beautiful outdoor spaces like the Botanic Gardens, boutique and mega-mall shopping, and both five-star and hawker center dining for a range of budgets. English is one of the country’s four official languages, so Western visitor numbers are on the rise. It’s also a popular jumping-off point for tourists planning to visit other parts of Asia.

3. Paris, France

The city often called the most romantic place in the world is a perennial tourist favorite, with proposals in front of the Eiffel Tower a daily occurrence. The list of famous attractions—Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre —seems endless, and the world-class cuisine attracts foodies of every stripe. The 15.6 million annual visitors can’t get enough. Unlike London, whose biggest group of tourists is from within the EU, Paris’s visitors are the opposite: 53 percent come from outside of Europe, especially the United States and Japan.

2. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok came in at no. 13 on our readers’ choice list of the top 25 cities in the world, and current tourism numbers bear that out, with more than 16 million people visiting the Thai capital this year. It edged out London for the no. 1 spot in 2013, so we’ll see which city scores the top spot next year.

1. London, England

Despite its high price—the pound is strong, making it one of the most expensive places to live and to visit—London continued its dominance in the tourism industry. Some 18.7 million tourists came through the British capital in 2014, putting it more than two million people ahead of its closest competitor. It also comes in at no. 1 in terms of total visitor spending, with tourists spending a grand total of $19.27 billion in 2014. That is a lot of cups of tea.

Dab the AIDS Bear has been to all twenty locations and no matter which you choose, we believe you will have a beary great time.

Wishing you a beary safe and great Sunday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab