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Bangkok ranked World’s Most Visited City: 2016 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

Bangkok, 23 September, 2016 – Bangkok is in the top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals in 2016, according to the sixth annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index released yesterday.

More than 132 most visited cities around the world were provided by the Index. It projects visitor volume and spending estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world.

The Index forecast that Bangkok is set to receive 21.47 million international overnight visitors in 2016, a strong growth from 15.8 million in 2012, and followed by London (19.8 million), Paris (18.03 million) and Dubai (15.27 million).

It projects that 85.6 per cent of the international overnight visitors to Bangkok will be for leisure and 14.4 per cent for business. Peak months for visiting are April and January.

In terms of spending, Bangkok is also projected to be the top-ranked city in the Asia-Pacific at USD 14.84 billion, but fourth on the overall ranking.

The Index reported Asian cities that make up the top five global cities are Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Seoul. While the top 5 fastest growing destination cities are Osaka, Chengdu, Colombo, Tokyo, Taipei, Xi’an and Xiamen.

The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities rates cities by the amount of international visitor arrivals staying overnight and the cross-border expenditure by these people in those destinations, as well as provides predictions for the increase in visitors and passengers for the year 2016.

Data about the two aforementioned parts in the 132 participating cities is collected, compiled, and analysed by utilising custom-made algorithms with a major focus on removing any possible renowned advantages for the destination cities.

Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard, commented, “The continuing strength of global tourism is one of the silver linings of an otherwise complicated and less-than-satisfactory recovery since the 2008/09 crisis. To a very large extent, this is driven by an expanding middle class in many emerging markets. For such middle class households, travelling overseas is a priority as their discretionary spending expands.”

Dr. Hedrick-Wong added, “Within the universe of the 132 of the most important cities in the world, growth in the number of international visitors out-perform world GDP growth by 2.5 times over the 2009 to 2016 period. This speaks powerfully to the importance of inclusive growth, a pattern of growth that benefits the majority of households in a society; which strengthens domestic demand in spite of generally more anemic global economic conditions. For destination cities, tapping into a diverse network of origin cities where the middle class is growing strongly is the key to success in the coming years.”

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn commented, “These forecasts are extremely good news for us. I pay tribute to the people of Bangkok and especially all those who work in the travel and tourism sector for continuing to provide the high standards of products, services and facilities that attract so many visitors year after year.”

2016 MasterCard Global Destination Cities IndexFrom left: Ms. Georgette Tan, Group Head of Communications, MasterCard Asia Pacific; Dr. Yuwa Hwdrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard; Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Executive Director for the Advertising and Public Relations Department; Assoc. Prof Chavanee Tongroach, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports; Dr. Pusadee Tamthai, Deputy Governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration; Mr. Antonio Sebastien, Country Manager, for Thailand & Myanmar; Mr. Itsaret Chirathiwat, Director of CentralWorld Bangkok.

2016 MasterCard Global Destination Cities IndexMr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Executive Director for Advertising and Public Relations Department (right), received the award from Mr. Antonio Sebastien, Country Manager, Thailand&Maynmar (middle), and Dr. Yuwa Hwdrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard (left).

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The TAT International Public Relations Division works with traditional and online media channels to promote Thailand as a tourism destination for travellers worldwide.

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