In the annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index with 18.24 million international overnight visitors BANGKOK has reached number two on the list of Asian cities and is catching up with top-ranked city, London.
Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Hong Kong round off the top 10, taking seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th place, respectively.
Driven by insights into travel patterns, the Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. More than just a travel tracker, the index provides an understanding of how people move around the world and the importance of the world's cities as homes, destinations and engines of growth, MasterCard says.
London and Bangkok have topped the index throughout its five-year history. The rivalry is set to continue as Bangkok's visitor numbers continue to recover after civil unrest in 2014.
Accordingly, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, acting governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand,, the coming ASEAN Economic Community would provide a great opportunity for Thailand to build upon its strength in tourism. As the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index shows, we have retained our strength globally, and this is in part due to intra-Asean travel from cities like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. This facilitates growth across the region as well as paving the way for Thailand to be the tourism hub of Southeast Asia.
He also included that "We are proud of our nearly decade-long partnership with MasterCard and look forward to working together to continue to encourage Thai and international tourists to travel within and around Thailand."
The top five feeder cities to Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in 2015 are all in the Asia-Pacific region. However, this shows the lack of diversity in the origin of visitors to many destinations in Asia, which presents risks to long-term resilience to any global economic shocks.
Source : The Nation