London tops the 2014 Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index by overtaking Bangkok which was last year’s most visited city. The top 5 most visited cities in the world are London, Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Dubai.
The 2014 list of top 20 most visited cities in the world includes two cities from the Middle East – Dubai ranked No.5 with an estimated 11.95m overnight visitors and Riyadh ranked No.18 with 5.59m visitors.
While the top three most visited cities in the world – London (18.69m), Bangkok (16.42m) and Paris (15.57m) – have a lead that may not be able to break overnight, the rankings of the next four cities is likely to change next year as visitor growth rates can make a significant difference. For example, Dubai with 11.95m and New York with 11.81m and Istanbul with 11.60m are experiencing high growth. Istanbul with a 17.5% surge in visitor numbers can shoot up from No.7 to the No.4 position if visitor numbers maintain their growth.
“The index points to a continued strong demand and interest in air travel, both for business and personal travel,” said Ann Cairns, president of International Markets, MasterCard. “The recognition of this year’s top international destinations reinforces the continued importance of cities as business, cultural and economic hubs.” Now in its fourth year, the index provides a ranking of the 132 most travelled cities from around the world.