MasterCard Names Bangkok Best City to Travel to in 2013

Bangkok is this year’s best city for travel according to the Global Destination Cities Index released by MasterCard. The 2013 top five cities in terms of the highest international visitor numbers were Bangkok, London, Paris, Singapore, and New York. The difference between the first two cities was of only one percent. Bangkok surpassed the 2012 and 2011 winner, London, after ranking third in 2013. Paris and Singapore are still part of the first five in the top, while New York made the 5th place after a powerful ascent from its 12th place in 2011.

Of the 132 cities ranked, 42 are from Asian countries, thus making the Asia/Pacific region dominant in this year’s report once more. Other cities from this part of the world that made it to top ten were: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.

“With the rise of the Asia/Pacific region, this year’s index reflects the rebalance that the globe is undergoing in large part because of the rise of emerging markets,” said Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, MasterCard Worldwide. “This shift is further underscored by electronic payments, which are enabling more people from more places to participate in the global economy than ever before.”


The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities is not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data. The index ranks cities from the point of view of f the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities. Based on these numbers – obtained from public data – visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2013 are made.

“The Thailand tourism slogan – ‘Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You’ – is certainly apt as its capital, Bangkok, has emerged at the top of this year’s index. And the word ‘Amazing’ focuses on the interest of foreign tourists towards the country of Thailand. What a tribute this is to our city’s hospitality industry, the transport industry and food and beverage and catering industry and more,” said Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, Tourism Authority of Thailand.

“Bangkok brought with it great momentum from last year. Its ascent to number one is not only a first for Asia, it’s emblematic of the rise of the Global South which encompasses much of Africa and Asia as well as South America,” concluded Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and author of the report.

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