Six Indian cities feature among 100 leading global destinations, as per Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017



Chennai ranks among the top 10 destinations in Asia Pacific in terms of overnight visitor arrival


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Travel and tourism in India is on an upswing assix Indian cities make it to the leading 100 destinations globally, according to the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017. The six cities include Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Bengaluru. Chennai leads the pack in India, besides standing out among the top 10 destinations in Asia Pacific when it comes to overnight visitor arrivals.


Ranking the world’s 132 top destination cities, the Index analyzes visitor volume and spend for the 2016 calendar year and provides a forecast for annual growth, insights on the fastest growing destination cities, and a deeper understanding of why people travel and how they spend around the world.As per the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017, travel and tourism in Asia Pacific are showing no signs of slowing down, with the region dominating visitor arrivals.This is further testified with the top 10 cities in Asia Pacific destinations tracking the highest amount of international overnight visitor spending. Bringing in $91.16 billion USD in travel expenditure in 2016, Asia Pacific outpaced Europe ($74.74 billion USD), and North America ($55.02 billion USD).


Eric Schneider, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard Advisors, said, “As the fastest growing region for international tourism, Asia Pacific’s travel sector will no doubt continue to serve as a key source of in-market economic growth and development. The rise of leisure and business travel across the regionpresents a vital imperative for governments and private stakeholders to invest in smart networks and infrastructures that provide seamlessexperiences for residents, tourists and business travelers. Cities that do sowill realize their potential as true global destinations, and reapthe economic benefits of increased visitors and greater spending.”


Asian Destinations Lead Global Visitor Arrivals

International overnight visitors to the Top 10 destination cities were up in 2016.According to the Index, Bangkok tracked 19.41 million visitors, while London came in a close second with 19.06 million visitors. Singaporewith 13.11 million visitorsinched past New York at 12.7 million visitors into fifth position for the first time in three years, while Seoul with 12.39 million visitors leapfrogged three spots into seventh place.


Home to half of the world’s top ten most visited cities, Asia Pacific’s success as a global travel hub has been supported by strong intra-regional travel.Both Singapore and Seoul tracked significant growths, aided by visitors from neighboring countries, particularly thosefrom China. In the Index’s seven-year history, China has grown from being passive contributors to the region’s travel sector to the main driver of growth for visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific’s top destinations.


Overall,forecasts for continued growth in 2017 are positive except for New York, with Tokyo expecting the largest boom.


  Destination 2016 International Overnight Visitors Forecast for 2017
1 Bangkok 19.41 million visitors 4.0 percent
2 London 19.06 million visitors 5.0 percent
3 Paris 15.45 million visitors 4.4 percent
4 Dubai 14.87 million visitors 7.7 percent
5 Singapore 13.11 million visitors 2.6 percent
6 New York 12.70 million visitors (-2.4 percent)
7 Seoul 12.39 million visitors 0.4 percent
8 Kuala Lumpur 11.28 million visitors 7.2 percent
9 Tokyo 11.15 million visitors 12.2 percent
10 Istanbul 9.16 million visitors 0.9 percent


Building the Most Desired Destination Cities of Tomorrow

Globally, international overnight visitor arrivals and spend in the 132 destinations have grown by 55.2 percent and 41.1 percent respectively since 2009, significantly outpacing real GDP growth during the same period. More than half of the top destination cities reported an increase in spend consistent with or greater than GDP increases between 2009 and 2016, and are primed to be engines of broad economic growth for countries.


The difference between the Global Top 10 destinations by arrivals and the Top 10 fastest growing destinationscontinues to demonstrate the increasing importance of watching Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africadevelop into future destination leaders. Osaka leads as the fastest growing city at 24.0 percent, fueled by strong growth in visitors from within and outside the region including the United States, China, Malaysia and South Korea. In addition, Jakarta and Hanoi’s entrance into the list of top 10 fastest growing cities point to Southeast Asia’s rising significance as a key travel hub.


The forecasted top 10 fastest growing cities by CAGR (2009-2016) include:


  Destination Growth in visitors by CAGR from 2009-2016
1 Osaka 24.0 percent
2 Chengdu 22.7 percent
3 Colombo 20.3 percent
4 Abu Dhabi 18.9 percent
5 Jakarta 18.2 percent
6 Tokyo 17.7 percent
7 Hanoi 16.4 percent
8 Riyadh 15.9 percent
9 Lima 15.2 percent
10 Taipei 14.5 percent


Insights into Purpose of Travel and Local Spend

Across the Top 20 destination cities, leisure was the main purpose for the majority of travel. Kuala Lumpur led the pack, with 92.2 percent of visitors there on vacation. Conversely, nearly half (48.4 percent) of Shanghai’s visitors are thereon business.


Looking closer at the Top 10 destination cities, expenditure categories identified in the Index illustrate how people are spending when they visit:

  • Istanbul stands out as the only city with the greatest percent of visitor spend going to Dining (33.6percent)
  • People spend most on shopping while in Seoul(56.5 percent), followed by London (46.7percent), Tokyo (43.1percent), Kuala Lumpur (31.3 percent) and Dubai (31.0 percent)
  • Travelers can expect lodging to be the lion’s share of expenditure when visiting Paris (44.8percent) and New York (31.8percent)
  • With efficient transport systems in place, less budget is spent on local transit in London (4.3 percent),Singapore (4.6 percent),and Tokyo (6.9 percent)