(12 February 2014) – Mastercard recently published its Global Destination Cities Index, based on international visitor arrivals in 132 of the world’s most important air travel hubs.
It has been more than four years since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008.The recovery has been slow to say the least, and the global economic outlook continues to be clouded by uncertainty. Against this background, international travel and cross-border spending have shown to be very resilient.
According the authors of the report, visitors and their spending are powerful catalysts for nurturing and driving the growth of creative industries and urban cultures, while preserving the past in ways that uniquely contribute to the attractiveness of the city in question.
The top destination city by international visitor arrivals in 2013 is Bangkok (16 million arrivals), which managed to surpass London by a very slim margin. This is the first time an Asian city is in the top rank since the Index was launched in 2010.
London is now followed by Paris, Singapore, New York, Istanbul, Dubai and others. Paris (14 million arrivals) remains third, but is the only destination city among the top 20 that shows a decline in the estimated number of international visitor arrivals, by -0.7 percent in 2013.
In Europe, London and Paris are followed by Istanbul, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Vienna , Madrid and Prague.