July 1, 2011
According to a poll by MasterCard, London appears to be the leading city when it comes to expecting the most international tourist arrivals during 2011.
The results of the poll were announced on 1st June, and this new index of Global Destination Cities predicts that London will receive around 20.1 million inbound passengers over the course of this year.
This figure means that it beat competition from the ever-popular Paris, which can expect 18.1 million and Bangkok, which holds 3rd place with just 11.5 million. In fact, 8 cities in the Asia-Pacific area have gained places in the Top 20 global destinations, something that may have something to do with the influx of travelers around this region.
Surprisingly, New York is the only US city that appears on the list, expecting just 7.6 million visitors. However, New York is expected to rake around $20.3 billion in terms of tourist expenditure during 2011. This is a close second to London, whose 20.1 million visitors are predicted to spend a staggering $25.6 billion.
MasterCard also examined which cities will experience the most visitor growth, with Barcelona taking the lead with the greatest increase of 24%. The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur came second, going up by 21.8%, while Istanbul follows closely behind with 20.4%.
The company formed these predictions of international arrivals by analysing airline schedules and UN expenditure figures. The results of this poll will serve as one of the clearest indicators of the human dimension of globalisation.
From the results, it is noted that emerging market cities are showing both high visitor arrival growth, as well as an expansion in expenditure growth. This suggests that they are growing in importance in the new global economy.
MasterCard also adds that Cities in Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and Africa will start to play a bigger role in these figures.
To download the MasterCard report and view the entire top 20, click here.