Istanbul ranks among the top 5 tourist destinations worldwide and the city on two continents is expected to attract 11.6 million international visitors in 2012 with spending estimated at around $10.6 billion, according to the Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities issued by MasterCard.
Dynamic Istanbul has made huge strides in recent years and now ranks as the fifth most popular destination in the world. Istanbul ranks fifth in 2012 and moved up by one from 2011, displacing Hong Kong.
Istanbul, rich in history and culture, is a rising star as a travel destination. With visitor numbers growing at 14.7% and growth in visitor spending a sizzling 20.7%, it’s now the third most popular destination in Europe.
Istanbul is the fastest growing city in the top five in terms of international visitor numbers, set to grow 14.7% on last year and it has climbed one space in the rankings to claim the fifth spot. It is also rising up the charts when we look at visitor spend, with a predicted increase of a staggering 20.7% since MasterCard’s last report.
London has again secured global dominance. It has been crowned number one – the world’s top destination city – for the second year running. It is predicted to grow both in terms of international visitor numbers and expenditure.
Following London in the visitor spend category is New York City, with US$19.4 billion. Yet the city ranks just 13th in number of visitors, with 7.6 million.
The report adds that total visitor numbers and cross-border spending is expected to increase by 5.7 percent and 10.6 percent respectively for the top 20 destination cities in 2012.
In spite of a challenging global economic backdrop, this year’s Index projects that there are hot spots of robust growth around the globe, in terms of both international visitor arrivals and expenditure,” said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and the author of the report.
“With a new generation of international travelers from emerging markets flocking to the world’s top destinations, global cities continue to represent an important engine of growth,” he said.
Top 20 destinations in 2012
- London (16.9 million visitors)
- Paris (16 million visitors)
- Bangkok (12.2 million visitors)
- Singapore (11.8 million visitors)
- Istanbul (11.6 million visitors)
- Hong Kong (11.1 million)
- Madrid (9.7 million)
- Dubai (8.8 million)
- Frankfurt (8.1 million)
- Kuala Lumpur (8.1 million)
- Seoul (8 million)
- Rome (7.8 million)
- New York (7.6 million)
- Shanghai (7.5 million)
- Barcelona (7.3 million)
- Milan (7.1 million)
- Amsterdam (6.9 million)
- Vienna (6.7 million)
- Beijing (6.2 million)
- Taipei (5.4 million)
Top 20 fastest growing destinations in 2012
- Rio de Janeiro (28.6 percent growth rate)
- Tokyo (21.5 percent)
- Quito (18.8 percent)
- Abu Dhabi (17.9 percent)
- Tunis (17.7 percent)
- Dubai (15.3 percent)
- Taipei (15.1 percent)
- Istanbul (14.7 percent growth rate)
- Beijing (14.7 percent)
- Bogota (12.6 percent)
- Lima (11.7 percent)
- Riyadh (10.4 percent)
- Nairobi (10 percent)
- Singapore (9.9 percent)
- Seoul (9.8 percent)
- Cairo (8.3 percent)
- Shanghai (8.2 percent)
- Toronto (7.6 percent)
- Washington, D.C. (7.2 percent)
- Caracas (7 percent )
The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, a second annual report that analyzes both visitor traffic and cross-border travel spend in 132 cities around the globe. Authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide, the report ranks the world’s leading destination cities and demonstrates the interconnectivity among those cities.