Bangkok is world’s most visited city four years in a row

You just can’t beat Bangkok. MasterCard named the Thai capital the world’s most visited city for the fourth straight year, while the Ministry of Tourism and Sports said arrivals were up 5.6 percent year-on-year in August 2019 despite a global travel slowdown.

The MasterCard Global Destinations Index said that Bangkok hosted over 22 million visitors last year. They stayed for an average of 4.8 days and spent an average of $184 a day, according to MasterCard’s research. In the Asia-Pacific subcategory, Bangkok has been in first place for nine years in a row.

Thailand had three of its destinations in the Asia-Pacific top 10. Phuket and Pattaya came in at seventh and eighth, with 9.9 million and 9.4 million international overnight visitors, respectively.

The Index ranks cities according to the number of international overnight visitor arrivals, cross-border spending, and other factors. Bangkok’s closest global competitor this year was Paris with 19.1 million visitors, followed by London with 19.01 million, Dubai with 15.9 million, and Singapore with 14.6 million.

“While the world’s economic, geopolitical, technological and societal landscapes have all dramatically changed since Mastercard launched this research 10 years ago, one thing has remained constant: the desire of ever-growing numbers of people to explore the world beyond their own borders,” said Rupert Naylor, Senior Vice-President for Data and Services and Asia-Pacific.

Despite a slowing global economy and fears of recession, the number of foreign tourists arriving in Thailand rose 5.6 percent in August from a year earlier, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports said last week.

The government is confident that the number of foreign visitors will set a new record of at least 40 million this year, government Spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat told reporters.

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