Bangkok is the top destination city

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Thailand’s capital city is expected to welcome more overnight visitors than anywhere else. 

Mastercard has dubbed Bangkok as the top destination city. This is according to the American multinational financial services corporation Global Destination Cities Index which, ‘pinpoints where international travellers go and how they spend when visiting new cities’. It ranks 132 cities across the globe and predicts that Thailand’s capital will be host to 20.2 million overnight visitors this year. This is a hike of four percent from 2016.

Overnight visitors are those who come to the capital and are only required to stay a minimum of one night. Part of Bangkok’s accolade is that it is a hub for travel across the region. There are countless flights operating from Bangkok meaning that many looking to travel within Asia Pacific need to travel via Bangkok first. Therefore these overnight visitors are not be confused with tourist numbers.    

Bangkok receives the most amount of visitors in April, July, August, as well as December to January. It also leads the pack for Asia as Singapore came in at fifth position with 13.11 million overnight visitors, with Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo occupying seventh, eighth and ninth places respectively. 

Hot on the heels of Bangkok is London having sat at the top of the charts in 2014. England’s buzzing metropolis was pushed out of pole position in 2015 as Bangkok overtook. However, this year London does expect to experience the biggest percentage increase from 2016 which Mastercard predict at five percent. Paris came in at third place, Dubai at fourth and New York at sixth. 


Despite Bangkok’s cheaper cost of living which can be enjoyed by tourists, total tourist spending ranked the city in fifth position. A figure that Mastercard predict will increase nearly 11 percent since 2016. Between 2009 and 2016 Osaka has received an increase of 24 percent of overnight visitors. This means the Japanese city is the fastest growing destination city for the region for this period. It comes as no surprise that low frills airline Air Asia X has increased its flights to Osaka from within the region to help the city reach these figures.