London most visited City

London most visited City

The Big Smoke is the most popular city for adventure lovers for the third time, it has been revealed .

Mastercard Global Destination Cities index 2014 revealed that London is the destination of choice for travellers in its annual list of international travel.

Bangkok was another favourite coming in at second place, followed by Paris and Singapore and Dubai proving popular hotspots for city travellers.

London is estimated to receive 18.7 million international visitors in 2014, spending over £11bn. New York has a higher per person spend, however, with 35% more spent by each individual visitor.

The index, which is now in its fourth year, is based on the number of international visitors landing and spending at least one night in the 132 cities across the world that are included in the research. It also tracks the amount visitors spend in each city and the places they travel from.

The two cities in the index that show exponential growth this year are Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul. Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will have over 13% more international visitors this year compared to last year, and Istanbul, capital of Turkey, shows a 17.5% increase in visitors in 2014.

Istanbul ranks tenth on the global list, but makes it to number three on the European cities index, only just beaten by London and Paris and coming in ahead of tourist hot-spots Barcelona and Amsterdam. Most visitors to Istanbul travel from London and Paris, whereas Istanbul does not feature in the top ‘feeder’ list of any city.

Ann Cairns, president of International Markets, MasterCard said: “The Index points to a continued growth in international air travel, both for business and personal travel. This year’s Index recognises London as top in terms of international visitor numbers and spend – an achievement the city should be hugely proud of. But also shows the power of air travel in elevating destination cities in emerging markets, a trend that is predicted to continue.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With over eighteen million visitors this year there are also eighteen million reasons why London is set to become the most visited city on the planet. Our city perfectly combines history, heritage, arts and culture, not to mention vast amounts of green space and major events that are the envy of the world.”


Identifying Priceless Trends

Across the globe, a few key trends stood out from the latest Index, including:

  • Asia/Pacific- The region is home to half of the top ten destination cities, with Seoul achieving this status for the first time.
  • Europe- This year, 67 percent of London’s international visitors are from other European cities – a strong indication of Europe’s strengthening economy and the importance of the country’s ties with Europe.
  • Latin America- Lima built on its position as 2013’s fastest growing city, taking the top spot on the Latin America line-up for the first time.
  • Middle East and Africa- Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the global top ten, on track to overtake Paris and Singapore within five years.
  • North America- The region has been fairly consistent since the creation of the Index, with Chicago forecast to be the fastest growing American city this year.

by for