Bangkok tops MasterCard rating

BANGKOK, 4 June 2015: Bangkok maintains its position in the latest MasterCard rankings as the top tourist destination in Asia and continues to be second only to London, worldwide.

The Thai capital is credited with overnight stays of 18.24 million foreign tourists, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2015.

The rating is based on estimated tourist arrivals and subsequent growth rates.

There is no specific tourist arrival data for Bangkok alone as opposed to national arrivals, based on immigration tallies. In fact, the overall countrywide figures are often criticised for being either inflated or inaccurate.

But MasterCard use,  passenger arrivals figures at Bangkok’s two airports and travel agents association data on clients handled by member companies all provide solid indicators on Bangkok’s popularity.

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Master Card surveyed the most favoured tourist destinations out of 132 cities across the world. And Bangkok and London have been on top of the list as most visited cities for the past five years.

The top 10 cities in the world most visited by foreign tourists were: London, 18.82 million; Bangkok, 18.24 million; Paris, 16.06 million; Dubai, 14.26 million; Istanbul, 12.56 million; New York, 12.27 million; Singapore, 11.88 million; Kuala Lumpur, 11.12 million; Seoul, 10.35 million and Hong Kong, 8.66 million.

The top 10 cities with the highest growth rate of visiting foreign tourists for the past six years are as follows: Colombo, 21.1%; Chengdu, 20.7%; Abu Dabi, 20.4%; Osaka, 19.8%; Riyadh, 18.0%; Xian, 16.2%; Taipei, 14.9%; Tokyo, 14.6%; Lima, 13.9% and Ho Chi Minh, 12.9%.