Bangkok is #1 in travel index for fourth year in a row

PHOTO: TakeMeTour

Bangkok, despite some recent tourist number woes, continues to be ranked near the top in most world travel indices. Now Bangkok has been ranked first in the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) for international overnight visitors for the fourth straight year. And the sixth time in the past decade.

Thailand is the only country in this year’s GDCI with three cities in the global top 20 (Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya) and two cities in the global top 10 for spending by international overnight visitors (Bangkok and Phuket).

The GDCI 2019 ranks 200 cities is based on Mastercard’s analysis of visitor numbers and spending in 2018.

International overnight visitors spent more than US$20 billion in Bangkok, a 15% increase from 2017, while in Phuket they spent more than $12 billion, a 9% increase, according to Mastercard.

Bangkok is #1 in travel index for fourth year in a row | News by Thaiger

Hat Yai had the highest increase with growth of over 19%, mostly from Malaysian visitors.

China was Thailand’s biggest market, though some of the kingdom’s famous holiday destinations, particularly the islands, saw an increase in visitors from Europe and Japan.

Visitors from Germany topped island destinations such as Phangnga (25.1%), Koh Samui (17.1%), Koh Tao (11.4%) and Koh Chang (11.3%), and Japanese visitors accounted for 25.5% of arrivals in Ayutthaya, the nation’s ancient capital, an increase of 1.7% from 2017, according to Mastercard.

Koh Phangan joined the top 100 for Asia-Pacific at 96 surpassing island locations like Koh Chang (139), Koh Tao (130), Boracay in the Philippines (129) and Lombok in Indonesia (110). Hat Yai (31) jumped 27 places in 2018.


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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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