Bangkok is set to be 2013’s most popular city break destination, according to MasterCard. The company’s thirds annual Global Destination Cities Index forecast has named the Thai capital this year’s top city destination, knocking London off the top spot.
The destination index rates visitor numbers and estimated spend for 132 destinations around the world every year. holidays in Bangkok have risen in popularity pushing the English capital off the top spot by just 25,000 vistors. The capital of Thailand is expected to welcome 15.98 million international visitors this year, while London is expected to welcome 15.96 million.
“With the rise of the Asia/Pacific region, this year’s index reflects the rebalance that the globe is undergoing in large part because of the rise of emerging markets,” said Ann Cairns, president of International Markets for MasterCard Worldwide. “This shift is further underscored by electronic payments, which are enabling more people from more places to participate in the global economy than ever before.”
“Bangkok brought with it great momentum from last year,” commented Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, author of the report. “Its ascent to number one is not only a first for Asia, it’s emblematic of the rise of the global south which encompasses much of Africa and Asia as well as South America.”
London is pinned to be the most popular European city for a second year, followed by Paris, despite the French capital experiencing a drop in visitor numbers at the beginning of this year. Istanbul, Barcelona and Milan are also expected to be top European destinations in 2013.