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Published on : Friday, June 5, 2015
Driven by insights into travel patterns, the Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. More than just a travel tracker, the Index delivers deeper understanding of how people move around the world and speaks to the importance and prominence of the world’s cities as homes, destinations and engines of growth.
According to the study, London is projected to receive 18.82 million international visitors in 2015, just slightly ahead of second-ranked Bangkok. The two cities have topped the Index throughout its five-year history.
Forecasted overnight visitors to the rest of the top 10 cities include:
“MasterCard understands the importance of cities around the world both for travelers and those who live there,” said Ann Cairns, president of International Markets, MasterCard. “This year’s study helps us understand just how interconnected the world’s cities are the significant role they play in connecting and empowering greater numbers of people than ever before.”
Intellectual Insights: Understanding What Drives Global Cities
In 2015, it is expected that nearly 383 million overnight trips will be made by international visitors between the Index’s 132 cities, representing a massive demand for goods, services and experiences as they spend at total of US$360 billion during their visits.
According to the UN report on World Urbanization Prospects, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. By forecasting the number of international overnight travelers, the Global Destination Cities Index shows the infrastructure needed to meet the expectations of both locals and visitors.
Businesses and governments can use the insights from the study to identify those areas – from transit to cultural experiences to infrastructure – in which investment is needed for continued growth, innovation and sustainability.
“This index is just the beginning. Through a powerful combination of insights, innovation and experiences, MasterCard is partnering to help build the smart cities of the future,” said Cairns.
Infrastructure Innovation and Consumer Experiences
Major cities like London and Chicago are building an open, interoperable transit system facilitated by MasterCard contactless and mobile payments. The streamlined operations help support investments in other infrastructure.
MasterCard has also developed consumer marketing programs to support the significant role cities play as centers of human interaction. In fact, six of the top 10 Global Destination Cities are also Priceless Cities, a one-of-a-kind global platform that curates unique experiences, privileged event and attraction access, and special merchant offers.
Destination Cities: Spotting the Trends
Across the globe, a few key trends stand out, including: