For the second year in a row, Bangkok is predicted to be the world’s second top destination, and the number one in Asia-Pacific, with 18.24 million visitors expected to spend time in the Thai capital in 2015, according to the newly-released MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.
London ranked top city for the world with 18.82 million visitors.
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor and Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “This is absolutely great news, which could not come at any better time than now that Thailand is seeing a strong recovery in all tourist markets. I’d like to thank all concerned parties and stakeholders for their tireless efforts in building and reiterating the image of Bangkok, Thailand’s main gateway, as one of the world’s most popular tourist cities that is complete with both modern conveniences and old charms.”
The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities from around the world in terms of international overnight visitor arrivals and spending. On the global scale for 2015, Paris ranked third with 16.06 million visitors, Dubai came fourth with 14.26 million visitors, and Istanbul was in fifth place with 12.56 million visitors.
When comparing among destination cities in the Asia-Pacific, Bangkok retained its position at number one, followed by Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, and Hong Kong. This ranking has remained unchanged since 2013 when the Thai capital became the first Asian city to top the global list.
In terms of spending, Bangkok ranked seventh in the world and third in the Asia-Pacific, with US$12.36 billion projected in international visitor expenditure for 2015.
Mrs. Juthaporn said, “This ranking as well as a number of awards and honours that Thailand and various Thai destinations, including Bangkok, have received so far this year will certainly motivate us to work harder to welcome tourists. Under our 2015 Discover Thainess campaign, we hope to share with all our international guests the Thai way of happiness through the various aspects of Thainess; such as, Thai food, Thai arts, Thai wellness, and Thai festivities.”
Thailand expects to welcome a total of 28 million visitors generating an estimated US$ 42 billion (1.4 trillion Baht) in 2015.