Bangkok is back as world’s top travel destination according to Mastercard
Bangkok is the new king when it comes to the projected number of tourists this year, defeating last year’s leader, London. This is according to the annual ranking conducted by Mastercard, including 132 cities across the globe.
Popularly known as ‘City of Angels,’ Bangkok also edged out Paris and Dubai to be named as world’s top travel destination. The projected foreign overnight visitors for Bangkok in 2016 is 21.47 million, pulling away from London’s 19.88 million. The total population of Bangkok is 10 million.
According to Mastercard’s chief economist Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Bangkok is a strong contender to be named as the top destination in the world.
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“It isn’t a flash in the pan,” he said.
“There’s the value for money, especially for visitors coming from high-income countries,” he added.
The increased number of Chinese tourists was also seen as one of the reasons why Bangkok got back on top. The report also said that 85 percent of tourists in Bangkok travel for leisure.
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Political instability and rebellion in 2014 have weakened the confidence of consumers to Thailand, leading to a gloomy tourism for quite some time. From 2014 through 2015, Bangkok went down from the top spot — until it bounced back in 2016 despite several bombings that caused deaths. Bomb blasts took its toll in southern Thailand in August, but it seemed that it has not really affected the tourism in the city.
James Donnelly, 31, a tourist from Britain told Reuters why he’s visiting Bangkok: “The pollution makes it a less than ideal city to stay long term, but the food is second to none.”
Definitely, Bangkok has not lost its glamour to international visitors. With its lively urban scene, gastronomic appeal and proximity to amazing beaches and islands, tourists have unending reasons to unravel the city.
Among the top 10 destinations in the ranking made by Mastercard, five came from the Asia Pacific region. Meanwhile, the Japanese city of Osaka was attributed to claim the strongest growth in terms of foreign visitors for the past seven years, wherein citizens from South Korea and China are their top visitors.
Mastercard did not specify why London got rubbed out of the title this year. London and Japan held the top spot for most of its history.
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According to the same report, majority of the tourists “spend overwhelmingly” on shopping than dining, despite of the fact that good food and good restaurants are overflowing in the list’s top destinations.