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Bangkok is the world’s most visited city again, fourth year in a row

The Thaiger

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Bangkok is again the world’s most-visited city for the fourth consecutive year, beating out Paris and London. The rankings are compiled annually by Mastercard. Welcoming around 22.7 million international visitors, Bangkok ranked as the top destination for global travellers this year.

Many of Bangkok’s visitors originate from these top five destinations, listed in order: Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, India and the United Kingdom. Popular attractions include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and for a day trip outside the city, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

According to the listing, Bangkok was host to more than 22 million international overnight travellers. Paris and London were in second and third place with just over over 19 million overnight stayers each. Other Asian cities in the Top 10 include Singapore at #5 and KL at #6, and Tokyo at #9. South east Asia’s other popular tropical destination, Bali, came in at #19.

The Mastercard Index, which expanded this year to look at global 162 cities, is not simply a ranking of the top travel destinations. Based on visitor volume and spend for the 2018 calendar year, the in-depth analysis also provides a growth forecast for 2019.

London was the only city in the top 10 cities to score a drop in international overnight visitors declining almost 4%. Tokyo is forecast to have the largest growth in arrivals this year, an increase of 10% to more than 14 million.

Phuket and Pattaya also scored in the top 20 most popular locations this year, #14 and #15 respectively.

Thailand’s tourism industry on some measures accounts for about a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product. A boom in the sector fizzled this year as the baht strengthened and the global economy slowed.

Top 10 cities ranked by 2018 visitor numbers

1. Bangkok, Thailand: 22.78 million international overnight visitors

2. Paris, France: 19.10 million international overnight visitors

3. London, England: 19.09 million international overnight visitors

4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 15.93 million international overnight visitors

5. Singapore: 14.67 million international overnight visitors

6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 13.79 million international overnight visitors

7. New York City, USA: 13.60 million international overnight visitors

8. Istanbul, Turkey: 13.40 million international overnight visitors

9. Tokyo, Japan: 12.93 million international overnight visitors

10. Antalya, Turkey: 12.41 million international overnight visitors

Read the full report HERE.

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