Destinations in Asia Pacific are key players in the movement of the world economy in favor of emerging market cities, according to the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities
The latest Index from MasterCard is a new approach to understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. It ranks cities by their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2011.
The Index results show that many emerging market cities are showing robust growth with increases in both visitor arrivals and cross-border expenditures, with many showing growth rates exceeding 20%.
Cities in Asia Pacific led the charge globally having eight of the top twenty cities by international arrivals, with Bangkok ranked third, projected to have 11.5 million visitors this year, followed by Singapore in fourth rank with 11.4 million visitors and Hong Kong fifth with 10.9 million visitors.
Bangkok is ranked first among Asian cities
Globally, Bangkok is the third-most-popular destination among air travellers and comes fourth in terms of visitor spending.
About 11.5 million air travellers are expected to visit Bangkok and spend US$14.4 billion (Bt436 billion) this year.
However, contrary to the popular perception that most visitors to Thailand are thrifty backpackers, it is estimated that Bangkok’s expenditure per visitor is $1,252, which is ranked third globally after New York ($2,671) and London ($1,274).
Passenger traffic at Suvarnabhumi Airport rose 9 per cent in the first seven months of the 2011 fiscal year to 40 million, compared with the same period last year, according to Airports of Thailand.
In the OctobertoApril period, flight frequency also increased 11 per cent, to 258,457 flights.
Though May is the start of low season, passenger traffic jumped 39 per cent year on year, while flight freฌquency increased 13 per cent.
AOT told analysts at a meeting yesterday that doubledigit growth in air traffic was likely this year, so long as there was no serious political unrest.
Bangkok is ranked first among Asian cities based on the estimated number of international arrivals by air and the level of visitor expenditure this year, according to the findings of a study conducted by a leading credit-card company.
Beijing and Shanghai are ranked second and third regionally in terms of visitor growth, with growth rates estimated at 20.2% and 18.6% respectively, reflecting their rising attraction as China’s most important destination cities. Shanghai also ranks second in the region for growth in visitor expenditures with 24.3%.