Asia Pacific cities are increasing in importance in global tourism, receiving comparatively more tourists than ever before, according to a new study. Eight of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure in 2012 will be located in the Asia Pacific region, the new MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index says. The top 10 Asia Pacific destinations should see 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals during 2012 and a 15.3% increase in cross-border spending. The report adds that emerging market cities will continue to see sustained tourism growth.
Bangkok is forecast to take third place globally according to tourist arrivals this year, receiving more than 12.2 million visitors. Singapore will be fourth with 11.8 million visitors, Hong Kong sixth with 11.1 million, Kuala Lumpur tenth with 8.1 million.
In terms of visitor spending in 2012, Bangkok again places third globally (US$19.3 billion), a 16.6% rise from 2011. Singapore climbs two places to fifth (US$12.7 billion, up 12.7%) and Seoul moves into the top 10 (US$10.6 billion, up 16.2%).
Cities registering the biggest growth in both visitor arrivals and cross-border spending in 2012 include Tokyo, Taipei and Beijing.
[pictured: Wat Pho, Bangkok; courtesy TAT]