Thursday, September 26, 2013

Top 10 Visited Cities In 2013

by Mary Mckee

When deciding to travel, where would you like to visit? Paris, Rome, London, New York City are all great options but here is a list of the top 10 visited cities this year to help you decide!

10. Barcelona
Despite Spanish economic turmoil, Barcelona, with its Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia still remains a travel hot spot. Visitors are largely from Northern Europe, with visitor largely coming from London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Munich. With Barcelona only a train ride away from many of these cities it isn’t surprising that it is a fun weekend get away location.

9. Hong Kong
Described as one of China’s most notable “origin cities,” the port city is still a popular destination worldwide today. With the neighboring city of Macau only a ferry ride away, there is plenty to do!

8. Kuala Lumpur
An important link between the Middle East and Asia, the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is a popular destination with impressive skylines. Largely dominating those skylines are the Petronas Towers. Kuala Lumpur gathers visitors largely from Middle Eastern and Asian cities such as Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Melbourne, and Manila.

7. Dubai
Dubai has hosted nearly 9.89 million international visitors this year so far, giving it the second largest year-on-year growth index in the world, tied with Bangkok, at 10.9%. Among the must sees in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, the world’s current tallest building standing at  2,723 feet high. Along with a riveting and beautiful culture, this city is a must see on anyone’s travel list.

6. Istanbul
Known as the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city with an ancient history that brings visitors from every corner of the world, just as it did traders in centuries past. With air travel continuing to grow, the new accessibility of this ancient city could rocket it into one of the top 5 most visited cities by 2016.

5. New York City
The majestic Manhattan skyline with the Empire State building challenging the clouds is a sight to see, it’s no wonder New York City attracts so many international visitors every year. Enough so that the city generated $18.6 Billion in revenue from international travelers alone in 2012! Where were these travelers from? Largely London, Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires.

4. Singapore
Singapore is a popular destination for international travelers for several reasons. Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a city-state right in the middle of the crossroads between the Asia and Pacific region. This gives travelers the ability to partake in a delicious food culture and the convenience of a world-leading airline.

3. Paris
With historic buildings and structures around every corner, a world famous food scene, and a fashion culture mimicked the world around, it is hard to find a reason not to visit Paris. International visitors largely hail from London, New York, Tokyo, Rome, and Frankfurt to shop along the Champs-Elysees and climb the Eiffel Tower.

2. London
Taking second place in 2013 from number one in the year before, London still remains the top destination in Europe. With 15.96 million international visitors, the city generated $16.3 Billion from international visitors, ahead of Bangkok’s $2 Billion. International visitors come from Dublin, New York, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt to see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and ride the London Eye.

1. Bangkok
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is the first Asian city to top the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index beating London out with 15.98 international travelers. International traveler numbers grew by an astounding 9.8% in last 12 months. International travelers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Seoul are coming into the new number one city to visit.

While traditionally European and American cities have dominated the top 10 visited cities list, travelers are choosing more Asian cities to turn their attention to. This can be due to higher air travel accessibility and the draw of new and largely unexplored cultures. When choosing your travel destination for the 2014 year, where will you visit?

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