Bucharest is the European destination posting the highest rise on overnight visitors last year, outranking cities such as Lisbon, Berlin or Amsterdam, says the latest Mastercard Destination Cities Index.
Based on visitor volume and spend for the 2016 calendar year, the in-depth analysis also provides a forecast for growth in 2017, insight on the fastest growing destination cities, and a deeper understanding of why people travel and how they spend around the world.
International overnight visitors to the Top 10 destination cities were up in 2016 overall. Forecasts for continued growth in 2017, with Tokyo expecting the largest growth in visitors among the Top 10.
The Romanian Capital has lured 10.4 pc more tourists in 2016 as against 2009. Visitors’ most favorite seasons to come to Bucharest are May-June and September-October.
The next cities recording an increase of the visitors are Lisbon (10.2 %), Sofia (9.4%), Warsaw (9.4%) and Budapest (8.6%).
The top cities worldwide are Bangkok, London, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, Ne York, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Istanbul.
Since 2009, more than half of the top destination cities reported an increase in spend by overnight visitors consistent with or greater than GDP growth. These cities benefit greatly from tourism and are primed to be engines of broad economic growth for countries.
Across the Top 20 destination cities, the majority of travel is conducted for leisure purposes, except in Shanghai where nearly half (48.4 percent) of visitors are travelling on business. Conversely, Kuala Lumpur has the greatest percentage of visitors, 92.2 percent, there on vacation.
The Index has identified expenditure categories that illustrate how people are spending when they visit the Top 20 destination cities: dining consumes the greatest percentage of visitor spend in Istanbul (33.6 percent), & Prague (29.3 percent); people spend more on shopping while in Seoul (56.5 percent), London (46.7 percent), Osaka (43.4 percent) & Tokyo (43.1 percent); lodging can be the most expensive part of the trip when visiting Paris (44.8 percent), Milan (40.4 percent) & Rome (40.4 percent); with efficient transport systems in place, less budget is spent on transit in London (4.3 percent), Singapore (4.6 percent), & Hong Kong (4.6 percent).
“We are seeing more people than ever visiting cities for business or leisure. At the same time, we know that people expect their experiences when traveling to be both seamless and personal,” said Carlos Menendez, president of enterprise partnerships at Mastercard. “The call to action is clear. Cities that apply technology to simplify services and connect people with their passion points can become true destination cities and realize the benefits of increased visitors and greater spending.”