Regular members of the Going Global Community understand how important travel is. International travel connect people and places both culturally and economically. It helps us get to know each other and share the wealth. Let’s face the travel industry is a huge factor in the world economy and as such attracting more tourists is high on most Mayor’s to do lists.
MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index provides an annual ranking of 132 of the most important destination cities in the world. By estimating the total number of international visitors to each of these
cities each year and the amount of money generated by travel, the index provides a global map of how these 132 cities are connected and the business potential generated in each of them by the inflows of visitor spending. It’s a fascinating read.
London is once again the world’s top ranked destination city with an estimated 18.69 million international visitors in 2014. It has been a tight race between London and Bangkok for the number one position in the last few years. Bangkok overtook London in 2013 to become the top ranked destination city in the world, but London regained the top rank with an 8% growth in visitors, versus an 11% decline in Bangkok due to the Thai political situation.
Paris, Singapore, and Dubai followed in third, fourth and fifth ranks respectively. Their respective growth rates, however, diverge significantly. At 1.8%, Paris’ growth is very low, and Singapore’s growth rate is slightly higher at 3.1%. But they are both eclipsed by Dubai’s 7.5%. If their current growth rates are to continue, then Dubai would overtake both Paris and Singapore within five years. Other major changes in the ranking are: Amsterdam overtook Milan to move up from 13th to 12th rank, and Shanghai overtook Vienna.
It’s interesting to note that there is only one US destination in the Top 20, that’s of course New York. But despite the fact that New York is only number six on the list in terms of foreign arrivals it’s number two when it comes to visitor spending. it seems as if tourists like to part with their cash in the big apple.