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The info: World's most visited cities

The newly released Mastercard Index looked at 162 cities across the world, revealing last year's travel trends and forecasts for 2018, but which places are on the rise and fall?

By Esan Swan
Published 3 Apr 2019, 10:50 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 14:08 BST
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Photograph by Getty Images

Top 10 most visited cities in 2017 (in millions to the nearest decimal)
Bangkok: 20.5
London: 19.8
Paris: 17.4
Dubai: 15.8
Singapore: 13.9
New York: 13.1
Kuala Lumpur: 12.6
Tokyo: 11.9
Istanbul: 10.7
Seoul: 9.5

8.3
The average number of days visitors spend in New York

2.5
The average number of days visitors spend in Paris

19.85%
Percentage forecast for Istanbul's growth in 2018 (highest)

0.9%
Percentage forecast for Hong Kong's growth in 2018 (lowest)

For the first time, Auckland has made the most-visited places list, ranking at number 44

Why Bangkok retained the top spot according to the study: robust infrastructure; business and leisure attractions; and strong local culture

$537
The average daily spend of visitors in Dubai

$108
The average daily spend of visitors in Istanbul

% contribution to tourism in country
Kuala Lumpur: 44.9
London: 50.6
Tokyo: 19.9

Mastercard's 2018 Global Destination Cities Index

 

Published in the December 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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