Dubai retained its position in the ranking, as Bangkok takes top spot followed by London
Dubai retained its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world for the fourth year in a row, registering nearly 15.8 million overnight visitors in 2017 according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index. The index analyses 162 cities globally and is based on visitor volume and spend on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, Bangkok took the top spot in the list for most visited city, with 20.04 million international visitors, followed closely by London (19.83 million international visitors) and then Paris (with 17.44 million international visitors).
In fifth place was Singapore, followed by New York, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Istanbul, with Seoul rounding off the top 10.
Abu Dhabi was named the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa in terms of overnight visitor arrivals, with a compound annual growth rate of 18.2% between 2009 and 2017.
The index also provides the growth forecasts for the upcoming year. The growth forecast in terms of visitors for Dubai in 2018 was estimated to be 5.5 per cent, with the average stay measuring 3.5 nights.
In terms of average spending, Dubai tops the list in terms of visitor spending, with an average spend of $537 (Dh 1,972) per day, followed in second position by Paris, where the average spend per day for international visitors is $301, closely followed by Singapore, where average spending per day is $286. The remaining cities making up the top 10 most-visited list all have spending averages below $200 per day.
Istanbul, which featured in ninth place in the rankings for most visited cities, recorded the lowest average spend per day, with an average of $108.
Likewise, Dubai also topped the list for total international visitor spend with $29.7 billion, followed by Makkah where total spending in 2017 by international visitors amounted to $18.45 billion, then London ($17.45 billion), Singapore ($17.02 billion), and Bangkok ($16.36 billion).
According to the CEO for Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), Dubai’s success in the list can be attributed to the combination of new attractions in the city, as well as its thriving retail sector. Further to this, Dubai also encourages visitors to look beyond the city’s iconic landmarks, meaning Dubai continues to be a must-visit or must-return destination.
Top 10 cities by international overnight visitor numbers
- Bangkok, 20.05 million international visitors
2. London, 19.83 million
3. Paris, 17.44 million
4. Dubai, 15.79 million
5. Singapore, 13.91 million
6. New York, 13.13 million
7. Kuala Lumpur, 12.58 million
8. Tokyo, 11.93 million
9. Istanbul, 10.7 million
10. Seoul, 9.54 million
Source: Gulf News