World’s most popular destination

When you think about the world’s most popular tourist destinations, London, Paris and New York will usually spring to mind.

And, as far as the top 10 go, you’re right, they’re all up there.

But the world’s most favourite destination city is none of these, and you may be surprised where it is.

Mastercard has just unveiled its annual Global Destination Cities Index, which identifies the cities that benefit the most from international travel.

For the second consecutive year, Bangkok took out top honours as the most popular destination for international travellers.

The report projects that the Thai capital will receive almost 20.2 million visitors, up from 19.41 million last year.

A former number one, London, took out second place for the second year in a row, expecting to receive over 20 million visitors this year.

Third in line is Paris, expecting 16.1 million visitors, followed by Dubai and Singapore, both helped along by being popular stopovers. New York is sixth, with a projected 12.1 million, although that number is expected to drop over the next year. Rounding out the top 10 is Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Istanbul.

Bangkok is a notoriously cheap destination and with its nearby mix of unique towns and seaside resorts, has a little something for every traveller. It’s also incredibly affordable on the ground, too, with four or (sometimes) five-star resort stays from as little as $500 for seven days and shopping opportunities aplenty. That may account for the fact that it falls to fifth in visitor spending, with $14 billion in revenues.

Have you been to Bangkok? Would you recommend it to our members?


Related articles:
Bang for your buck in Bangkok
The world’s most visited city
Best budget travel spots

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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