London set to drop from third to sixth place in list of world`s most popular tourist destinations

London will soon lose its place as the third-highest city for international arrivals, according to new research.

The UK capital is expected to welcome 19.8 million international visitors in 2017, placing it behind Hong Kong (25.7 million) and Bangkok (23.3 million). But Euromonitor International, a global market intelligence publisher, has analysed travel trends to predict that London will slip to sixth place.

By 2025, the firm predicts, international travellers to both Hong Kong and Bangkok will have increased by 71 per cent, to 44 million and 40 million respectively - writes independent.co.uk.

London’s international visitor numbers are expected to rise by 30 per cent to 25.8 million. But Singapore , Macau and Dubai will all overtake London, which will be only slightly ahead of Kuala Lumpur.

In sixth place in the European league, Barcelona will see only modest gains, at around two per cent annually. The city has been at the centre of a row about “overtourism”.

London remains way ahead of the rest of the UK in international visitor arrivals. Edinburgh, in second place, will score 1.68 million this year. The Scottish capital will receive only one-12th of its English counterpart’s numbers.

Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow are the next biggest arrival points, but London receives as many visitors in the average two months than they do all year.

Euromonitor International points out that the distortion is reflected in airport numbers. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton — the four big London airports — will this year handle around 100 million more passengers than the largest four outside the capital: Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Glasgow.

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