Bangkok the leading travel destination for 2017
New Zealand – September 27, 2017 – Asia Pacific is an increasingly popular region for travel, according to the
Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index (GDCI) 2017.
Asia Pacific destinations made up five of the top 10 in the annual survey which ranks the world’s 132 top destination
cities – with Bangkok in Thailand taking out first place.
“It is easy to see why Bangkok has topped the Global Destinations Cities Index as a great place to travel. For New
Zealanders it is a close, cost-effective and exciting destination. Lots of Kiwis are making the most of the close
proximity of Southeast Asia to enjoy fantastic cuisine, scenery and nwarmer weather,” says Peter Chisnall, Mastercard
Country Manager for New Zealand and Pacific Islands.
Asia Pacific had the highest amount of international overnight visitor spending among its top 10 cities bringing in
$91.16 billion USD in travel expenditure in 2016. Following Asia Pacific was Europe ($74.74 billion USD), and North
America ($55.02 billion USD).
“The amount of international visitor spend in the Asia Pacific indicates how much the popularity of this region is
growing. Five cities in the top 10 are in the Asia Pacific, showing just how many world class options are in this area
for travelers. Places like Thailand are great for cost-effective travel, but also desirable for those wanting a luxury
getaway,” adds Chisnall.
International overnight visitors to the Top 10 destination cities were up in 2016. According to the Index, Bangkok had
19.41 million visitors, while London came in second with 19.06 million visitors. Paris (15.45 million visitors), Dubai
(14.87 million visitors) and Singapore (13.11 million visitors) rounded out the top five visited cities.
Home to half of the world’s top ten most visited cities, Asia Pacific’s success as a global travel hub has been
supported by strong regional travel, with both Singapore and Seoul tracking significant growth.
“Looking at the index we can see that the top Asia-Pacific destinations have been helped by tourists from neighboring
countries – particularly China. There are also more flights than ever before heading to the region, and once you are
there neighbouring cities are close to explore,” says Chisnall.
Forecasts for continued growth in 2017 are positive except for New York, with Tokyo expecting the largest increase of
Destination2016 International Overnight VisitorsForecast for 20172016 Visitor Spend (US$ bn)1Bangkok19.41 million visitors4.0 percent$14.12London19.06 million visitors5.0 percent$16.13Paris15.45 million visitors4.4 percent$12.04Dubai14.87 million visitors7.7 percent$28.55Singapore13.11 million visitors2.6 percent$15.76New York12.70 million visitors(-2.4 percent)$17.07Seoul12.39 million visitors0.4 percent$9.48Kuala Lumpur11.28 million visitors7.2 percent$7.29Tokyo11.15 million visitors12.2 percent$11.310Istanbul9.16 million visitors0.9 percent$5.8