Asia experienced the largest increase in the number of international visitors over the years up to and including 2018, with 12 out of the 20 top city destinations in the world located within the continent. Generally, Asian countries are increasing in travel and tourism competitiveness as well. Chapter 11 identifies the factors that are contributing to this rise of Asian cities using the 10 As model. In particular, transportation network improvements are reviewed, as is the expansion of culture and heritage tourism, nature, shopping and food tourism, entertainment attractions, health and medical tourism and cruises. Major growth markets for Asian city tourism are pinpointed, including regional, domestic, business/MICE and VFR travel. The chapter also highlights some of the particular features, positive and negative, of the tourism cities in Asia.
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian cities' tourist volumes plummeted in 2020 and 2021 and the economic consequences were significant. The specific impacts are explored. Even before COVID-19, along with the tourism growth and broader external environment changes came issues and challenges for Asian cities and these are covered. Rapid urbanisation and improving income levels spurred tourism growth, but also were a source of problems within urban areas.