Defining What Makes a City a Destination

Sep 28, 2017, 00:19
Defining What Makes a City a Destination

The financial services company has released its annual Mastercard Destination Cities Index, which looks at tourist numbers to help cities understand the drivers and value of tourism.

Dubai was the top destination city in the Middle East and Africa for the year 2016, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2017.

With a record 13.11 million worldwide visitors previous year, representing 8.8 per cent growth, Singapore remains a top global destination for both leisure and business, the credit card giant's report said. The top 10 was rounded out by Singapore, New York, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Istanbul.

Singapore rounds out the Top 5 for arrivals, with almost 13.5 million worldwide visitors expected in 2017.

If you're itching to explore a brand new city and don't know where to go, why not follow the lead of the millions of travellers who flocked to the most visited destinations of 2016.

According to preliminary data from the Singapore Tourism Board, global arrivals here exceeded 10 million in the first seven months of the year.

Dubai ranked top on the list of countries attracting overnight worldwide visitors in the MEA region with 14.87 million visitors in 2016 up from 14.2m visitors in 2015, according to the index.

London took second place with just over 19 million visitors in 2016, Paris landed third with 15.5 million, Dubai fourth with 14.9 million and Singapore placed fifth with 13.1 million travelers.

Another highlight (that us Singaporeans have already known about for quite some time) is the fact that most visitors here come from China.

"This excellent showing demonstrates how collaboration between the public and private sectors can drive the right results for the local economy", Heng added. Conversely, Kuala Lumpur has the greatest percentage of visitors, 92.2 percent, there on vacation.

In 2015, Dubai saw global visitor spending of $31.3 billion.