Most frequently visited cities

Natalia Nowicka

Within this year Mastercard Global Destination Cities survey the Mastercard Company prepared a list of places where an increased number of tourist visits was recorded, including one-night stay in the statistics.

The survey has shown an increased interest in the cities of Central-Eastern Europe, such as Vienna (18th place), the Prague (20th place), Budapest (40th place), Moscow (59 place) and Copenhagen (65 place). The capital of Poland is located on the 72nd place, being the only Polish city (the statistics of one-night business stay seem to trigger the statistics for Warsaw). It is not the top ten, still one can feel optimistic about the fact that the average tourist spends in Warsaw in 2016 ca. 104 USD more (that means almost 400 PLN) than in the last year. What’s more, in the statistics we are higher than Bucharest (81st place), Sofia (84th place), Saint Petersburg (85th place) and Tel Aviv (86th place) – however, it is worth mentioning that Bucharest and Sofia were classified among the most dynamically developing cities in Europe, so there is no reason to rest on our laurels.

On the European scale the top ten of the cities looks like this (from 1 to 10): London, Paris, Istanbul (a bit of Europe and a bit of Asia :), Barcelona, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Vienna, the Prague, Madrid.

On the international scale, beside the strong position of the big Western European cities, one can notice the significant presence of Asian cities (from 1 to 10): Bangkok, London, Paris, Dubai, New York, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, Tokyo, Seoul.

London has a high rank in both lists. What’s interesting, the capital of Great Britain not only receive numerous visitors but also itself generates a great tourism traffic in other preferable directions from the list, both in Europe (Paris, Barcelona) and in Asia (Istanbul).

The increased popularity of Asia may be associated with the increasing interest in local economic market. More and more people decide to visit that region or even move there permanently. Among the areas with the significant visitation index increase there are for instance Japan (Osaka, Tokyo – 25-20 percent), China (Chengdu, Xi an, Xiamen – 20-13 percent) and the Persian Gulf area (Abu Dhabi, Riyadh – 20-17 percent). It is estimated that in 2016 Bangkok will receive a visit from as  many as 21,47 mln foreign guests which can further change the statistics in favour of Asia.

When it comes to the tourism income, in the area of Asia Dubai (estimated as 31,1 milliard USD for 2016) is a worthy rival for London (estimated as 19,8 milliard USD for 2016). Travellers often decide to go shopping in the visited cities – particularly high income in this category is noted in Seoul (58,7 percent of the funds spent by the tourists). The income from gastronomic services is also a significant part of the tourism income in such cities as Paris, New York, Barcelona and Amsterdam.