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Bangkok set to become world’s most visited city.

New figures say that Bangkok is set to become the world’s most visited city this year. The Thai capital is set to trump London, Paris, New York and Singapore as the world’s best city for visitors, according to the Global Destinations Cities Index forecast.

The research, which is carried out by Mastercard each year, looks at 132 destinations around the world. It bases its findings on the numbers of visitors and the amount of money they spend.

Roughly 15.98 million people will arrive in 2013, closely followed by London at 15.96 million. This is the first time an Asian city has topped the list, thanks to some spectacular growth over the past few years. Only this year, the numbers of visitors has grown by nearly 10 per cent. Other cities that made it in to the top ten include Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona. Paris was the only city in the top ten to experience a drop this year.

Mastercard also predicted that ‘by 2016 Istanbul will surpass Singapore, New York and Paris in terms of international visitor arrivals; and Dubai will similarly surpass Singapore and New York in 2016 and Paris in 2017’.

The author of the report was Mastercard’s global economic advisor DR Yuwa Hedrick-Wong who said: “Bangkok brought with it great momentum from last year. Its ascent to number one is not only a first for Asia; it’s emblematic of the rise of the Global South which encompasses much of Africa and Asia as well as South America.”

The study seems to reflect a change in global travel patterns, with Asia increasingly becoming a draw for more and more people. Why not add it to your travel plans for next year, book some flights and travel insurance and head off to see what all the fuss is about.

Date Created: 30 May 2013

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