MasterCard Global Destinations Index
Based on projections for the rest of this year, London is again claiming victory over arch-rivals Paris and Bangkok for the title of most-visited city. It's held the honor 5 times in 7 years, according to figures compiled by MasterCard. By the end of the year, they say, London will have counted up 18.82 million overnight visitors.
Three of the top 5 cities on the list are in Europe (London, Paris and Istanbul); the other two are Bangkok and Dubai. Zooming out to the top 20, Europe still dominates with nine of 20, including Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Milan, Vienna and Prague. North American only made the top 20 twice, with New York at 6 and Los Angeles at 20th.
A glance at the map above shows the rest of the finishers, and the clustering of the top cities in two areas of the world. As for Dubai, I wonder how many of those were true visitors, as opposed to overnight stays between flights at Emirates Airways big hub.
For MasterCard, this is more than just curiosity, of course. The actual report is packed full of marketing data and trends useful to the company and its clients, and to tourist promotion offices all over. Interested? You can read it all HERE