London has topped the list as the destination of choice for international travelers for the third time in four years, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index of the 132 most traveled cities from around the world. Bangkok itself slipped to second, after political unrest in the country discouraged international visitors, followed by Paris in third. Barcelona has consistently advanced its position since the launch of the Index, ranking 11th this year. It was also ranked as the fourth Top Destination City by International Overnight Visitor Spend.
Across the globe, a few key trends stood out:
- Asia/Pacific – The region is home to half of the top ten destination cities.
- Europe – This year, 67 percent of London’s international visitors are from other European cities – a strong indication of Europe’s strengthening economy.
- Latin America – Lima built on its position as the fastest growing city in the region last year, retaining the top spot in the Latin America lineup.
- Middle East and Africa – Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the global top ten, on track to overtake Paris and Singapore in the next five years.
- North America – The region has been fairly consistent since the creation of the index, with Chicago forecasted to be the fastest growing American city this year.
The full text of the report is available at Mastercard.com.