Bangkok named world’s top destination of 2017: Mastercard Index

Photo: Brian Boeck/ Coconuts Media
Photo: Brian Boeck/ Coconuts Media

Renowned for its street food, exciting nightlife, and loveable, eccentric culture, Bangkok has once again topped the chart of the world’s most popular destinations for international travelers, according to a report by Mastercard released this week.

In Mastercard’s 2017 Global Destination Cities Index, Bangkok is expected to welcome 20.2 million overnight visitors this year, a four percent increase from last year’s 19.4 million headcount. (Overnight tourists refer to those whose trip includes an overnight stay, so don’t confuse them with the total 32 million tourists last year.)

In terms of tourist spending, Bangkok came in fifth in the world, and Mastercard expects a 10.9 percent increase in tourism revenue from last year, with peak months for visiting being April, July-August, and December-January.

Regionally, tourists spend the most money in Singapore (which makes a lot of sense considering the higher cost of almost everything there). The city generated US$15.7 billion in tourism revenue last year and is expected to earn about the same this year, or 0.3 percent more, to be exact.

Globally, London follows Bangkok in terms of tourist arrivals, taking the No.2 spot for the second year. Paris, Dubai, and Singapore round out the top five.


Here are top 10 travel destinations:

  1. Bangkok, Thailand
  2. London. England
  3. Paris, France
  4. Dubai, UAE
  5. Singapore
  6. New York, US
  7. Seoul, South Korea
  8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Tokyo, Japan
  10. Istanbul, Turkey

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