Las Vegas and Miami had tourism decline in 2017

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Photo Credit: Checubus/Shutterstock

Five U.S. cities were among the slowest-growing or declining cities for travel and tourism in 2017, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council's annual Cities Report

In terms of travel and tourism's contribution to GDP, five U.S. cities were among the top 15 slowest-growing or declining metropolises: Miami (-6.3%), Las Vegas (-3.5%), San Francisco (-0.2%), Chicago (0.6%) and New York (1.1%). 

The report said that declines in Miami and Las Vegas reflect declines in domestic travel, offsetting more robust growth in the prior year. The Las Vegas decline was also exacerbated by the impact of the October 2017 mass shooting.

In Europe, Brussels, Paris and Berlin also were among the top 15 slowest-growing travel cities. 

Two Brazilian cities were among the top three slowest-growing/declining metropolises for travel and tourism, with Brasilia (-10.5%) and Rio de Janeiro (-7.5%) taking the No. 1 and No. 3 spots. The report said that Brazil's tourism decline is related to both a fall from high levels during the Olympics in 2016 and a slowdown in domestic travel. 

Seoul was No. 2, with a 9.2% decline in tourism contribution to its GDP, largely driven by a decline in international expenditure in 2017, following the diplomatic fallout between South Korea and China. 

Nine of the 15 fastest-growing cities in 2017 were in Asia, with bulk of that growth coming from domestic travel. Dublin and Dubrovnik were the only European cities in the top 15, and no U.S. cities made the cut.

Cairo was the No. 1 fastest-growing city in 2017, with its tourism contribution to GDP growing 34.4% over 2016. However, its increase was due to its recovery from a prolonged period of tourism decline which started during the uprising against the Mubarak government in 2011 and was further set back by terrorist attacks. Despite its growth, travel and tourism's contribution the Cairo's GDP was still barely half of what it was in 2010, its peak.

The same is true for Turkish cities Istanbul (13.1%) and Antalya (9.2%), which saw rapid growth in 2017 driven by a rebound from a weak 2016. 

Macau was No. 2, at 14.2%, pushed by a surge in visitors from mainland China. 

Shanghai was the largest city by travel GDP volume in 2017 with $35 billion, and by 2027 it is expected to be double the size of Paris. Shanghai was followed by Beijing ($32.5 billion), Paris ($28 billion), Orlando ($24.8 billion), New York ($24.8 billion), Tokyo ($21.7 billion), Bangkok ($21.3 billion), Mexico City ($19.7 billion), Las Vegas ($19.5 billion) and Shenzhen ($19 billion).

Asian cities are expected to further grow their tourism contribution to GDP: four of the five fastest-growing cities over the past ten years are located in China: Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou. 

The cities that currently contribute most to their country's overall tourism GDP are Bangkok (50.4%), Paris (29.8%), Mexico City (24.0%) and Tokyo (20.2%).

 

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