Since 2009, global travel and spending by overnight visitors to cities have grown faster than real GDP.
This is according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released on Tuesday (Sept 26).
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: "Travel and tourism are among Dubai's key economic contributors and the city's strong rankings in the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2017 confirm the effectiveness of partnerships between the government and private sector in driving growth". The survey not only provides insight into the spending of global travelers but also predicts where they'll visit next year.
In 2016, Singapore saw 13.11 million visitors, up 8.8 per cent year on year, the report said.
The GDCI ranks 132 top destination cities, analysing worldwide visitor volume and expenditure and was first launched in 2011. Forecasts for continued growth in 2017, with Tokyo expecting the largest growth in visitors among the Top 10.
Bangkok led the pack of Asia-Pacific cities with 19.41 million visitors past year, while Singapore had 13.22 million. Abu Dhabi, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.9 per cent between 2009 and 2016 in its growth of visitors, also retained its position as the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa, and is the fourth fastest growing city globally.
"KL is a leader among Asia-Pacific countries for leisure tourism as 92.2% of visitors who entered the city in 2016 did so for leisure purposes", Mastercard Advisors senior vice president for Asia-Pacific Eric Schneider told a media briefing today.
Across the Top 20 destination cities, the majority of travel is conducted for leisure purposes, except in Shanghai where almost half (48.4 percent) of visitors are travelling on business. "Cities that apply technology to simplify services and connect people with their passion points can become true destination cities and realize the benefits of increased visitors and greater spending".
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