Asia has the fastest growing tourism destination cities

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Bangkok still tops the list of the world’s most popular tourism destination cities worldwide, but competition is growing within Asia, the latest Mastercard Destination Cities Index released on September 26 shows.

Based on the number of visitors ($19 million) and amount of money ($14.1 billion) they spent last year, the report put Bangkok top for a second year in a row. Thailand’s capital ranks ahead of London, Paris, Dubai and Singapore which round up the top five. 

London took second place with just over 19 million visitors in 2016, Paris landed third with 15.5 million, Dubai fourth with 14.9 million and Singapore placed fifth with 13.1 million travelers.

However, the report also shows that Bangkok is also maturing as a sought-after destination. Measured by the pace of growth between 2009 and 2016, Bangkok lags behind Southeast Asian competitors Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and, in the wider region, clearly behind frontrunners Seoul, Taipei, Chengdu, Xiamen, Tokyo and Osaka.

Bangkok’s growth as destination for tourist in the period was just 11 per cent, while, for example, Jakarta grew the most in Southeast Asia by 18.2 per cent and Hanoi by 16.4 per cent.

The index also placed Jakarta as the fifth fastest growing destination globally amid 132 cities, and Hanoi seventh fastest growing. Bangkok is no longer in the top ten.

In the overall picture, the index shows another interesting trend. In 2012, Bangkok, London, and Paris competed fiercely for the spot of top destination city. Now, Bangkok has far surpassed Paris, Paris could soon fall below Dubai, and New York, already below Singapore, could soon dip further past Seoul.

There are also no American or African cities among the top five, and just one American city, New York, in the top ten, which clearly shows that the attraction of North America as a destination is shrinking.

Below a chart on the total tourism spending, with Singapore outdoing Bangkok within Southeast Asia:

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Bangkok still tops the list of the world's most popular tourism destination cities worldwide, but competition is growing within Asia, the latest Mastercard Destination Cities Index released on September 26 shows. Based on the number of visitors ($19 million) and amount of money ($14.1 billion) they spent last year, the report put Bangkok top for a second year in a row. Thailand's capital ranks ahead of London, Paris, Dubai and Singapore which round up the top five.  London took second place with just over 19 million visitors in 2016, Paris landed third with 15.5 million, Dubai fourth with 14.9 million...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bangkok still tops the list of the world’s most popular tourism destination cities worldwide, but competition is growing within Asia, the latest Mastercard Destination Cities Index released on September 26 shows.

Based on the number of visitors ($19 million) and amount of money ($14.1 billion) they spent last year, the report put Bangkok top for a second year in a row. Thailand’s capital ranks ahead of London, Paris, Dubai and Singapore which round up the top five. 

London took second place with just over 19 million visitors in 2016, Paris landed third with 15.5 million, Dubai fourth with 14.9 million and Singapore placed fifth with 13.1 million travelers.

However, the report also shows that Bangkok is also maturing as a sought-after destination. Measured by the pace of growth between 2009 and 2016, Bangkok lags behind Southeast Asian competitors Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and, in the wider region, clearly behind frontrunners Seoul, Taipei, Chengdu, Xiamen, Tokyo and Osaka.

Bangkok’s growth as destination for tourist in the period was just 11 per cent, while, for example, Jakarta grew the most in Southeast Asia by 18.2 per cent and Hanoi by 16.4 per cent.

The index also placed Jakarta as the fifth fastest growing destination globally amid 132 cities, and Hanoi seventh fastest growing. Bangkok is no longer in the top ten.

In the overall picture, the index shows another interesting trend. In 2012, Bangkok, London, and Paris competed fiercely for the spot of top destination city. Now, Bangkok has far surpassed Paris, Paris could soon fall below Dubai, and New York, already below Singapore, could soon dip further past Seoul.

There are also no American or African cities among the top five, and just one American city, New York, in the top ten, which clearly shows that the attraction of North America as a destination is shrinking.

Below a chart on the total tourism spending, with Singapore outdoing Bangkok within Southeast Asia:

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