Istanbul has climbed to sixth globally in terms of the number of international tourists expected to visit the city in 2013 and saw the highest increase in visitor numbers in Europe last year.
MasterCard Worldwide’s annual Global Destination Cities Index, which analyses international travel and visitor spending in 132 major cities, reported that Istanbul is expected to welcome 10.4 million tourists this year, a figure that would put it sixth in a global list of destination hotspots.
Istanbul is this year’s number six out of 132 for travel, and its tourism income is expected to rise to $8.6 billion this year – a 5.5 percent increase from a year earlier, according to MasterCard’s third annual Global Destination Cities Index.
Bangkok, London, Paris, Singapore and New York were the top five cities ahead of Istanbul. London ranks first in Europe in international visitor arrivals, followed by Paris, Istanbul, Barcelona and Milan. Istanbul, however, has seen the highest increase in visitor arrivals in Europe, the study said. If the city continues to grow amid a decline by the French capital, Istanbul will surpass Paris in terms of international visitor arrivals by 2016.
With its tourism income of $8.6 billion, Istanbul is set to be fourth in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of its intake from visitors.
London top feeder of Istanbul
Istanbul’s top five feeder cities are all European cities, with London on top, followed by Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Munich. The number of visitors from London is expected to reach 458,000 – a 2 percent increase – bringing income of $393 million. The number of arrivals from Paris is expected to rise to 409,000, a 10.9 percent increase, in 2013, followed by 295,000 from Munich (a 3.7 percent increase) and 319,000 from Amsterdam (a 3.4 percent increase). The number of visitors from Frankfurt, however, is expected to decline to 316,000 in 2013, a 5.3 percent decrease, the study said.
The top destination city by international visitor arrivals in 2013 is Bangkok, which managed to surpass London by a very slim margin. The success also makes the Thai capital the first Asian city to top the index since the survey was launched in 2010.
A noticeable trend in this year’s report was the dominance of the Asia/Pacific region. Of the 132 cities included, 42 are Asian cities. Bangkok is followed by Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo in terms of Asian destinations.