Bangkok has outpaced London as this year’s number one destination in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, stated a release. According to MasterCard, Bangkok will draw the highest international visitor numbers in 2013, ahead of London, Paris, Singapore, and New York. This is the first time that an Asian city is in the top rank ever since the Index was launched in 2010.
Today, in launching its third annual Global Destination Cities Index, MasterCard announced that Bangkok is this year’s number one city for travel. While London reached the top spot in 2012, it was edged by the slimmest of margins with only about 25,000 visitors separating the two – a difference of about one percent. The study looked at the highest international visitor numbers in 2013, with London, Paris, Singapore, and New York rounding out the top five.
A noticeable trend in this year’s report was the dominance of the Asia/Pacific region. Of the 132 cities ranked, 42 are Asian countries. Bangkok is followed by Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, and five of the top 10 in 2013 are in the Greater China region.
“With the rise of the Asia/Pacific region, this year’s index reflects the rebalance that the globe is undergoing in large part because of the rise of emerging markets,” said Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, MasterCard Worldwide. “This shift is further underscored by electronic payments, which are enabling more people from more places to participate in the global economy than ever before.”
Of the 20 highest-ranked Destination Cities for 2013, four of the top five are MasterCard Priceless Cities: London, Paris, Singapore, and New York with Los Angeles coming in at 20. Not only are these cities attracting international visitor arrivals, they’re top spots for residents as well.
About Bangkok’s number one ranking, Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “The Thailand tourism slogan – ‘Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You’ – is certainly apt as its capital, Bangkok, has emerged at the top of this year’s index. And the word ‘Amazing’ focuses on the interest of foreign tourists towards the country of Thailand. What a tribute this is to our city’s hospitality industry, the transport industry and food and beverage and catering industry and more.”
“Bangkok brought with it great momentum from last year. Its ascent to number one is not only a first for Asia, it’s emblematic of the rise of the Global South which encompasses much of Africa and Asia as well as South America,” concluded Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and author of the report.
The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2013.
Public data are used in deriving the international visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 132 destination cities, using custom-made algorithms; paying special attention to eliminate the hub effects for destination cities such as Singapore, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.