(CNN) — Europe won the tourism game in 2022, according to a new report from a UK-based market research firm called – without bias intended – Euromonitor.
Each year, its annual report compares the attractiveness of 100 cities worldwide across six categories — or “pillars” — including tourism policy and performance, sustainability, infrastructure, health and safety, and economic performance.
The new report, obtained exclusively by CNN, hailed the French capital as “the world’s top-performing tourist destination” for its “extraordinary performance in the pillars of tourism policy and attractiveness, tourism infrastructure and tourism performance”.
Globally, domestic arrivals increased by more than 80% this year as measured by the number of trips.
“While 2022 was a positive year for the travel industry, the road to full recovery from the pandemic is long and government support remains critical across regions,” Euromonitor said. It pointed to soaring inflation, deteriorating economic conditions and the war in Ukraine as factors likely to affect the pace of tourism recovery.
You have to keep an eye on Asia
New York was the highest ranking city outside of Europe and the Middle East.
A total of 40 European cities were included in the ranking, with Italy (six cities), Spain (five cities) and Greece (four cities) being the largest in Western Europe.
Amsterdam was third, Madrid fourth, Rome fifth and London climbed two spots this year to sixth. Munich and Berlin also climbed two places in the rankings – to seventh and eighth respectively – and Barcelona climbed a spot to No. 9.
New York finished bottom of the top 10, although the report noted that US cities overall showed a “strong recovery in tourism performance.”
Asia saw mixed performance regionally due to Covid-related travel restrictions, but Asian cities made some of the biggest jumps in performance. Singapore climbed 30 spots in the list and was hailed by Euromonitor as “the most business-friendly destination with simplified taxation and a high proportion of skilled employees”.
Africa and the Middle East performed best in terms of health and safety.
Travel within the region, the easing of Covid-19-related restrictions and the rebound in international travel were all key factors behind the appeal of the cities that shone in 2022.
However, Euromonitor said: “Asia is the region to watch in 2023 as the return of international travel, both inbound and outbound, is sure to shake the rankings.”
Euromonitor’s Top 10 City Destinations Index 2022:
10. New York