Bangkok has once again taken the top spot for the total number of international visitors for the third year in a row, with London and Paris as runners-up.
Every year for the past decade, Mastercard has used its vast wealth of knowledge on our spending habits to determine just how many people go to cities around the world, and just how much money we spend when we’re there. This year’s 2018 Global Destination Cities Index has now expanded to include 162 international destinations to compare them on how long people stay and how much they spend per day on average.
This year’s winner in terms of volume is Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai capital city welcomed 20.5 million visitors in 2017, with an average overnight stay of 4.7 nights. The average amount spent per day by visitors was $173 daily, which includes everything from hotel to taxi to nightlife.
And that number is expected to grow! Once again, thanks to Mastercard’s terrifyingly huge amount of data, they expect visitor volume to increase by 9.6% for 2018.
Runners-up for volume included London with 19.83 million visitors and Paris with 17.44 million visitors. North America once again failed to take much in terms of top spots, with New York only grabbing the sixth position with an overall volume of 13.13 million visitors.
Dubai came in fourth in terms of volume with 15.79 million visitors but came in first in terms of average amount spent per day. You can expect to shell out an average of $537 per day for staying in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, famous for their man-made sandy beaches, the tallest building in the world, and more supercars per capita than anywhere else on Earth.
Breaking into the number two spot, for the average of money spent, was Makka, Saudi Arabia, followed by Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and then Phuket, Thailand in fourth.
“International travel is crucial to many urban economies, enriching the lives of both residents and tourists. The bar is rising for cities to innovate to provide both a memorable and authentic experience,” said Miguel Gamiño Jr., executive VP for global cities at Mastercard.
“We’re partnering closely with cities around the world to ensure they have insights and technologies to improve how they attract and cater to tourists while preserving what makes them so special in the first place.”
Istanbul proved to be the best deal in terms of high-volume cities. Although coming in ninth overall with 10.79 million visitors, it had the lowest average cost of the top 10 cities with just $108 spent by visitors per day.