Certain cities continue to attract millions of visitors each year but where are the busiest destinations around the globe? To find out we’ve taken a sneak peek at Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, it highlights how popular destinations are based on visitor numbers and how much they spend once they arrive.
Based on their evidence we thought we’d highlight the top five cities in the world according to visitor numbers. This is where tourists were flocking to in 2014 and to build up the anticipation we’ve listed them in reverse order.
In at number five and moving up from a 2013 position of seven, Dubai has experienced a 7.5% increase in visitor numbers in recent times. Famed for its glitzy shops, stunning skylines and beachfront hotels, tourists can’t seem to get enough of Dubai and the best time to visit is between November to March when the temperatures are a little more bearable.
Although Singapore only has a population of 5 million people it regularly attracts over 12 million visitors each year. 2014 was no exception with a 3.1% rise in visitor activity compared to the previous year. This is possibly due to the diverse and delicious cuisine which is often cited as a reason to visit the country, signature dishes such as chilli crab or fish head curry are always a hit with visitors to the local restaurants.
The city of love. Famous for arts, architecture, excellent cuisine and fabulous wine, Paris has so much to offer. Visit the Eiffel Tower, witness the wonder of the Arc de Triomphe, hear the bells at Notre Dame or take a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Buy a Paris pass and cram as much as you can into a weekend break in this romantic city. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular destinations to visit in Europe.
Thai tourism is stronger than ever and when you visit the capital of Thailand it’s easy to see why. Spend time visiting the floating market, head to Chinatown for a tasty treat, enjoy the raucous nightlife in Soi Cowboy or have a traditional massage in the old city of Wat Pho. The sight of Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya River will leave you mesmerised and you’ll never be short of exciting things to do if you head to Bangkok this year.
Top of the pile in Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index is London. Easily accessible from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and City airports, the UK capital witnessed an 8% growth in visitor activity over the course of 2014 thanks to its rich history, famous landmarks and popular tourist attractions. Fly into one of the many airports around London and security is tight. Then again, you’d expect that thanks to the sheer volume of people that head to the capital each year!