Bangkok is the world’s most visited city for the fourth consecutive year, ahead of Paris and London
Ratings are compiled annually by Mastercard. Having received about 22.7 million foreign visitors, Bangkok ranked first among travelers around the world in 2019.
Many of Bangkok’s visitors come from five main destinations listed in order: mainland China, Japan, South Korea, India and the United Kingdom. Popular attractions include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and a day trip out of town to the Damnoen Saduaq Floating Market.
Paris and London ranked second and third respectively, with just over 19 million tourists each. Other Asian cities, including Singapore on the fifth, Kuala Lumpur on the sixth, and Tokyo on the ninth, are also on the top list. Another popular tropical destination in Southeast Asia, Bali, ranks 19th.
Mastercard Index, which this year has expanded to 162 cities around the world, is not just a ranking of the most popular tourist destinations. Based on the number of visitors and expenses for the calendar year 2018, analysts also forecast growth for 2019.
London was the only city in the top 10 where the number of foreign visitors per night fell by almost 4%. This year Tokyo is expected to see the biggest growth of tourists – up to 10%, and the city will be able to accommodate more than 14 million people.
Phuket and Pattaya are also among the top 20 most popular tourist destinations this year, #14 and #15 respectively.
Thailand’s tourism industry is roughly one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product. This year, the boom in the sector collapsed as the baht strengthened and the growth of the world economy slowed down.
The top list of cities by number of visitors per night in 2018 is as follows:
- Bangkok, Thailand: 22.78 million;
- Paris, France: 19.10 million;
- London, England: 19.09 million;
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 15.93 million;
- Singapore: 14.67 million;
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 13.79 million;
- New York, USA: 13.60 million;
- Istanbul, Turkey: 13.40 million;
- Tokyo, Japan: 12.93 million;
- Antalya, Turkey: 12.41 million.
Source: The Thaiger.