THIS CITY welcomes more international visitors each year than runners-up London and Paris.
It is less than a quarter of the size of New York City, it has never hosted the Olympic Games, and its main airport is not considered one of the world’s biggest.
But for the third year in a row, this surprising city is the most visited destination on the planet.
Bangkok has been named the world’s most visited city for the third straight year.Source:Supplied
Bangkok attracted 20.05 million international tourists in 2017, making it the world’s most visited city, according to Mastercard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index.
The Thai capital beat London (19.83 million), Paris (17.44 million), Dubai (15.79 million) and Singapore (13.91 million).
And it’s expected to increase its annual visitor number by another 9.06 per cent by the end of the year.
Mastercard’s index looks at visitor volume and spend in the world’s largest 162 cities, considering both leisure and business travellers.
In another surprise, Australia doesn’t even get a look in.
Despite our world-class beaches, buzzing metropolises and enviable climate, not a single Australian city ranked in the top 20.
London was tourists’ second-favourite city to visit in 2017.Source:Getty Images
Apparently, Australian cities lack what other cities have going for them.
“London, Bangkok and the other top destinations are all so different yet have one thing in common: they’ve figured out how to capture the imaginations — and dollars — of visitors,” Mastercard’s executive vice president for Global Cities, Miguel Gamiño Jr, told Forbes.
“Without a doubt, travellers are a critical driver of economic activity in these destination cities.
“They’re spending on everything from hotels and taxis to restaurants and spas to clothes and other goods.”
New arrivals in the top 20 list include Pattaya and Phuket, Palma de Mallorca, Mecca and the Turkish city of Antalya.
Palma de Mallorca, in Spain’s Balearic Islands, was a fresh face on the list.Source:istock
Prague, Vienna, Shanghai, Amsterdam and Rome fell from last year’s top 20.
While Bangkok was the world’s most visited city in 2017, Dubai was where visitors splashed the most cash.
The Emirati city topped the list in overnight international visitor spending, with an overall total of $41.9 billion spent there in 2017, according to the Mastercard index.
It was followed by Mecca ($26.03 billion), London ($24.61 billion) Singapore ($24.01 billion) and Bangkok ($23.08 billion).
Dubai attracted the most in visitor spending.Source:istock
WORLD’S MOST VISITED CITIES IN 2017
1. Bangkok — 20.05 million
2. London — 19.83 million
3. Paris — 17.44 million
4. Dubai — 15.79 million
5. Singapore — 13. 91 million
6. New York — 13.13 million
7. Kuala Lumpur — 12.58 million
8. Tokyo — 11.93 million
9. Istanbul — 10.70 million
10. Seoul — 9.54 million
11. Antalya — 9.42 million
12. Phuket — 9.29 million
13. Mecca — 9.18 million
14. Hong Kong — 9.03 million
15. Milan — 8.81 million
16. Palma de Mallorca — 8.78 million
17. Barcelona — 8.69 million
18. Pattaya — 8.67 million
19. Osaka 8.42 million
20. Bali — 8.3 million
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