APAC cities rule global travel rankings but Australians swap Bali for Paris

Published on : Monday, October 8, 2018

BaliAustralian tourists have started swapping Bali for Paris.


Visitor numbers to the French capital have risen by nearly 31 per cent last year as compared with a 4.2 percent decline in visitors to Bali. Though it continued to remain as the number one destination for Australians with .595 million people heading to the island getaway.


Tokyo was the other city that witnessed a double-digit increase in terms of Australian travellers last year of 11.7 percent.


As per the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, half of the world’s leading travel cities last year were included in the Asia-Pacific region and Bangkok occupied the top spot.


The index ranks cities based on visitor numbers, cross-border spending and growth forecasts.


The Thai capital attracted 20.05 million visitors who stayed an average of 4.7 nights and spent $US173 a day. In the region, however, Singapore was the top city by dollar spend, with visitors spending $US286 per day.


Andrew Cartwright who is the MasterCard Australia country manager said that the 2018 index showed that the Asia Pacific region is really a booming tourist market and it has dominated the global index.


He then went on to state that the Chinese tourists are flocking to South-East Asian countries, in particular Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.


In addition, travel to Japan has been growing. Okinawa, Kyoto and Osaka are the fastest growing destination cities in the region over the last eight years.


Australian tourists had spent $20.16 billion ($US14.25 billion) overseas in 2017, compared with $11.35 billion ($US8.02 billion) in 2009, an annual growth rate of 7.4 per cent.


The 162 cities on the list attracted a combined 14.8 million Australian visitors last year, compared with 8.7 million in 2009, a 6.9 per cent average annual increase.


On a country basis, the top three destinations for Australian visitors were the US, Indonesia and Thailand.


Surprisingly, Australians make up the second-biggest group of visitors to Bali, accounting for 19.2 per cent of arrivals, compared with 24.3 per cent from China.


Australian visitors to the Thai island of Phuket have declined from 17.3 per cent share in 2009 to just 6.1 per cent in 2017, although they still make up the third biggest cohort behind the Chinese and Russians.


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