Each year MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index takes an in-depth look into visitor volume during the previous year, provides a growth forecast analysis for the current year as well as reviews the average length of stay and dollar amount spent to rank their Global Destination Cities List. Here are the Top 10 Cities for 2018.
10 Seoul, South Korea
9.54 Million International Overnight Visitors
As the business and cultural hub of South Korea, Seoul combines an innovative city feel with authentic Buddhist history. While you’re there, visit the Myeong-dong shopping district or Gyeongbokgung Palace.
9. Istanbul, Turkey
10.70 Million International Overnight Visitors
Built on two continents and divided by the Bosphorus Straight, Instanbul is considered the European Capital of Culture. Be sure to check out the incredible Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum or one of the other historic monuments.
8. Tokyo Japan
11.93 Million International Overnight Visitors
Next up to host the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo continues to grow and attract visitors. A couple must do items for your list include visiting the towering observation deck, Tokyo Skytree, or the fun for all ages, Tokyo Disneyland.
7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
12.58 Million International Overnight Visitors
As the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur has several districts, but its main hub, the Golden Triangle, is recognized for several must see attractions: the world’s tallest twin skyscrapers, Petalin Street Flea Market, and the 400 million year old Batu Caves.
6. New York City, USA
13.13 Million International Overnight Visitors
Comprised of five boroughs each boasting their own expansive arts and culture scenes, history, and mystique, while you’re visiting The Big Apple, be sure to check out Times Square and the Empire State Building.
5. Singapore, Malaysia
13.91 Million International Overnight Visitors
Touted as Southeast Asia’s most modern city, Singapore, while small in size, effortlessly blends a unique ethnic dynamic. During your stay, climb the Tiger Sky Tower for panoramic views that can stretch as far as Indonesia.
4. Dubai, U.A.E.
15.79 Million International Overnight Visitors
Known for its warm hospitality and opulent lifestyle, Dubai features year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, and fascinating attractions including the iconic 160-story skyscraper and observation deck, Burj Khalifa and the palm shaped island of Palm Jumeirah.
3. Paris, France
17.44 Million International Overnight Visitors
Known as the City of Lights, the capital of France is a global hotspot for art, gastronomy, fashion, architecture and culture. Of course, while you’re there you must see the infamous Eiffel Tower, but also make some time for the lesser known gems of the city like the panoramic terrace at the top of the Printemps department store.
2. London, UK
19.83 Million International Overnight Visitors
Situated on the River Thames with one of the largest metropolitan area GDPs in the world, sits London, the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Big Ben, the London Eye and Tower Bridge are sure to be landmarks worth exploring.
1. Bangkok, Thailand
20.05 Million International Overnight Visitors
A true tourist paradise, Bangkok is a jumble of exotic, fun, and majesty that you won’t find anywhere else. Be sure to explore the city’s hot spots and historical sites, such as the Grand Palace and Chatuchak Market.