London has come a close second to Bangkok as a top-ranked international travel destination, according to the annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index released this week.
The Index is more than a ranking of the 132 top destination cities of today and tomorrow. Based on visitor volume and spend for the 2016 calendar year, the in-depth analysis also provides a forecast for growth in 2017, insight on the fastest growing destination cities, and a deeper understanding of why people travel and how they spend around the world.
The global top 10 destination cities
Forecasts for continued growth in 2017 are also positive, and London is predicated to eclipse Bangkok’s growth (see table below). Travelers from USA and France represented nearly one quarter of visitors to London, with 2.32m and 1.99m visitors respectively.
Bangkok 19.41 million visitors 4.0%
London 19.06 million visitors 5.0%
Paris 15.45 million visitors 4.4%
Dubai 14.87 million visitors 7.7%
Singapore 13.11 million visitors 2.6%
New York 12.70 million visitors (-2.4%)
Seoul 12.39 million visitors 0.4%
Kuala Lumpur 11.28 million visitors 7.2%
Tokyo 11.15 million visitors 12.2%
Istanbul 9.16 million visitors 0.9%
People spend more on shopping while in London than any other city in the report. It represents 46.7% of visitors’ expenditure. Only Osaka (43.4%) and Tokyo (43.1%) come close. International visitor spent US$16.09 billion in 2016, the highest of all European destinations, and significantly higher than Paris which came in second for expenditure with US$12.03 billion.
Their expenditure was broken down as follows
• Shopping: 46.7%
• Accommodation: 30.1%
• Food and beverages: 16.5%
• Local transport: 4.3%
• Local services: 1.9%
• Miscellaneous: 0.5%