World’s Most Popular Travel Destination Cities Lead Financial Recovery

World's Most Popular Travel Destination Cities Lead Financial Recovery

After being hit by the recession, some harder than others, the world’s most popular cities are leading the global financial recovery due to their status of popular tourist destinations and their being powerful hubs connecting international travel routes. These are the findings of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities released today.

London, the overall leading city in MasterCard’s latest index, ranked first by number of visitors among the world’s cities with 20.1 million inbound travelers expected this year. The British capital city was followed by Paris, with 18.1 million inbound visitors. The Asia Pacific region has 8 cities in the global top 20, of which Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong took the following three positions in the top. New York is the only North American city to make it to the first 20 popular travel destinations, taking the 12th place with 7.6 million inbound passengers forecast for 2011.

In what visitor arrivals are concerned, Barcelona leads the list, with a 24.3% growth, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Instanbul. Based on cross-border expenditure, London again claims the leading position, followed by New York and Paris.

World's Most Popular Travel Destination Cities Lead Financial Recovery

The Index also showed that in terms of cross border expenditure growth, Istanbul leads the way with a 30.1% growth expected this year. The Turkish landmark city is followed by Barcelona and Dubai. Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei put Asia Pacific in the top ten, all expected to report higher cross-border spending in 2011.

The Index ranks cities based on their their total international visitor arrivals and cross-border spending by these same visitors in each destination city. Based on this analysis, it then releases visitor and passenger growth forecasts the whole year.

More about the Index and its unique view on global economy analysis in this video: