Top 20 Most Popular City Destinations for 2013 Revealed

by Jules on June 8, 2013

New research has revealed which global cities will receive the most international travellers during 2013 based on growth forecasts.

The MasterCard Index has once again ranked cities based on international arrivals and traveller spend. In total 132 cities were assesses for inclusion in the index.

Bangkok is predicted to be the most visited city in the world this year, with an estimated 15.98 million international visitors expected. In fact since the index was launched in 2010, this is the first occasion that an Asian City has taken the top spot. High praise indeed for a city that is essentially a gateway into Southeast Asia: flights are plentiful and relatively cheap and the Thai culture is so appealing. With visitor growth of 18% in both 2012 and 2011, Thailand has pipped London to the number one spot.

Just pushed back into the number two position is London, which is predicted to receive some 15.96 million visitors this year, buoyed by the Olympic legacy.

Dubai is in 7th spot and has shown the strongest year-on-year growth with number up 10.9%.

Based solely on visitor spend, New York hits the top spot with a total estimated spend of $18.6 billion predicted this year. Based on visitor numbers alone, the Big Apple actually comes in at number five.

Whilst Bangkok is the most popular city in Asia Pacific and London is the most popular European destination, the most popular Latin America destination is revealed as Mexico City. The top Middle East and Africa location is Dubai and the top 3 North American destinations are New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

Top 20 Global Cities by International Visitor Numbers in 2013

1. Bangkok, Thailand 15.98 million
2. London, UK 15.96 million
3. Paris, France 13.92 million
4. Singapore 11.75 million
5. New York, USA 11.52 million
6. Istanbul, Turkey 10.37 million
7. Dubai, UAE 9.89 million
8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 9.2 million
9. Hong Kong 8.72 million
10. Barcelona, Spain 8.41 million
11. Seoul, South Korea 8.19 million
12. Milan, Italy 6.83 million
13. Rome, Italy 6.71 million
14. Shanghai, China 6.5 million
15. Amsterdam, Netherlands 6.35 million
16. Tokyo, Japan 5.8 million
17. Vienna,  5.37 million
18. Taipei, Taiwan 5.19 million
19. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 5.05 million
20. Los Angeles, USA 4.84 million

Thanks to the MasterCard Index for statistics and figures.

As ever, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below…

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