Top visited world cities

The world’s most popular cities draw travellers from far and wide, in search of all they have to offer. Some have become famous through popular culture, while others are the birthplaces of great people. The Global Destination Cities Index by MasterCard ranks the most visited cities and was released in 2016.

The top three cities out of the 132 that feature in the ranking are Paris, in third position with 18,03 million visitors, London, in second position and ranking the highest in Europe with 19,88 million, and in first place with 21.47 million visitors in 2016 is Bangkok. Osaka was named the fastest-growing destination. New York City topped the list of American cities to visit, while Lima ranked the highest among Latin American cities.

The top 20 cities were also split into types of travel to account for business and leisure tourists. Bangkok travellers comprised of 14,4% business travellers and 85,6% leisure travellers. In London, 20.9% of the inbound visitors were business travellers, while 79.1% were there on leisure travel or for other purposes. In Paris, 29,7% were on business travel, while 70,3% of its inbound traffic was made up of leisure travellers.

In terms of the peak times of year when the top three destinations were visited, Bangkok saw the highest inbound traffic during the months of April and June. London was most frequented from July until August, while Paris saw the highest traffic during December, and then in March through to May.

Below is the complete list of the the 20 most visited cities in the world:

City International overnight visitors
Bangkok 21,47m
London 19,88m
Paris 18,03m
Dubai 15,27m
New York 12,75m
Singapore 12,11m
Kuala Lumpur 12,02m
Istanbul 11,95m
Tokyo 11,70m
Seoul 10,20m
Hong Kong 8,37m
Barcelona 8,20m
Amsterdam 8m
Milan 7,35m
Taipei 7,35m
Rome 7,12m
Osaka 7,02m
Vienna 6,69m
Shanghai 6,12m
Prague 5,81m

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