Bangkok still most visited city: Mastercard

Bangkok still winning city, but others are catching up fast

Bangkok clinched top spot in the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index of most visited cities for the second year running in 2016.

The leading city attracted over 19.4 million international visitors last year, followed by London (19.1 million), Paris (15.5 million), Dubai (14.9 million), Singapore (13.1 million), New York (12.7 million), Seoul (12.4 million), Kuala Lumpur (11.3 million), Tokyo (11.2 million) and Istanbul (9.2 million).

Bangkok still winning city, but others are catching up fast

Among the top 10, Tokyo is projected to see highest growth (+12.2 per cent), followed by Dubai (+7.7 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (+7.2 per cent) and London (+five per cent).

Meanwhile, New York (-2.4 per cent) is the only city in the top 10 expected to experience a dip in international visitors this year.

Across the top 20 destination cities, Mastercard observed that the majority of travel was conducted for leisure purposes, except in Shanghai where nearly half (48.4 per cent) of visitors were travelling on business. Conversely, Kuala Lumpur had the greatest percentage of visitors on vacation (92.2 per cent).

The index also shows that dining consumed the greatest percentage of visitor spend in Seoul (47 per cent), Istanbul (33.6 per cent) and Prague (29.3 per cent).

People spent more on shopping while in London (46.7 per cent), Osaka (43.4 per cent) and Tokyo (43.1 per cent), while lodging was the most expensive part of the trip when visiting Paris (44.8 per cent), Milan (40.4 per cent) and Rome (40.4 per cent)

And with efficient transport systems in place, less was spent on transit in London (4.3 per cent), Singapore (4.6 per cent), & Hong Kong (4.6 per cent).

While not in the top 10 in terms of visitor arrivals, Osaka is showing to be a strong contender, with top growth performance (for 2009-2016 period) at 24 per cent. Chengdu is in second place showing 22.7 per cent growth, followed by Colombo (20.3 per cent), Abu Dhabi (18.9 per cent), Jakarta (18.2 per cent), Tokyo (17.7 per cent), Hanoi (16.4 per cent), Riyadh (15.9 per cent), Lima (15.2 per cent) and Taipei (14.5 per cent).

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