Bangkok Named Most Popular City For International Tourists In 2017
For the second year in a row, Bangkok is ready to be the world's top tourism destination.
The Thai capital is predicted to host nearly 20.2 million international tourists in 2017, according to Mastercard's annual list of most-traveled to cities. Released to coincide with World Tourism Day, the 2017 Global Destination Cities Index looks at visitor volume and spend at the largest 132 cities in the world.Trailing the Asian metropolis is London, which took the second spot last year as well. Clocking in at third is Paris, followed by Dubai, Singapore and New York.
"Tourism within cities – like Bangkok, London, Dubai, Tokyo – is vital to economic growth. Visitors are spending money on lodging, food, shopping, and more, helping these cities grow as destinations and modern metropolises," said Carlos Menendez, President, Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard. "This year, Singapore pushed New York out of the number five spot of top destination cities, with 13.11 million international visitors in 2016. With a growing number of visitors, Singapore has been taking steps to create seamless experiences, for example, by developing an entirely cashless transit system by 2020."
For some cities, the boost from tourism dollars is a boon to business. For example, Dubai boasted a whopping $28.5 billion in international visitor spend for 2016. New York, the next highest, had only $17 billion in tourism spending for the same year."Infrastructure, accommodation, air connectivity, access and policy enablers continue to be the facilitating levers that ensure Dubai remains price competitive and hugely attractive for a broad range of global travelers," said his Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, the Director General of Dubai Tourism. "By consistently outpacing the global forecast for visitors, we remain extremely confident about the future outlook for Dubai, especially considering the global headwinds we have faced in last year, as we remain in the top four most visited cities in the world.
While some cities like Shanghai boast half of their travelers related to business, some of these destinations are strictly fun. Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur has a staggering 92.2 percent of visitors there on vacation.