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London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as Most Visited City

London tops the list as the destination of choice for international travelers for the third time in four years, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released today.

Now in its fourth year, the index provides a ranking of the 132 most travelled cities from around the world.

Rounding out the top five cities are Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Dubai, which are benefiting from a surge in international travel fueled by an expanding middle class, innovations in luxury travel and rising need for business travel. The index also indicates this surge will continue, even with more technology and collaboration tools available to businesses.

According to the study, London is projected to receive 18.7 million international visitors in 2014. Forecasted visitors to the rest of the top five cities include:

  • Bangkok – 16.42 million
  • Paris – 15.57 million visitors
  • Singapore – 12.47 million visitors
  • Dubai – 11.95 million visitors

“The index points to a continued strong demand and interest in air travel, both for business and personal travel,” said Ann Cairns, president of International Markets, MasterCard. “The recognition of this year’s top international destinations reinforces the continued importance of cities as business, cultural and economic hubs. And, that’s where we come in. Every day, we help consumers and businesses maximize all of the travel opportunities available to them, including a safe and secure way to pay no matter where they are across the globe.”

A Powerful Travel Tool in Your Wallet

MasterCard travel services can help at every step of the travel journey to make it more than a just trip, simplifying the planning and booking process. For cardholders looking to find even more enjoyment and unique experiences in major cities and destinations, MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program provides exclusive access to more of life’s passions. At the same time, there are core benefits, insurances and features that help provide greater convenience along the way, from concierge services to price protection programs to peace of mind through the MasterCard Zero Liability policy.

Additional information about MasterCard travel resources can be found at MasterCard.com.

Identifying Priceless Trends

Across the globe, a few key trends stood out, including:

  • Asia/Pacific – The region is home to half of the top ten destination cities.
  • Europe – This year, 67 percent of London’s international visitors are from other European cities – a strong indication of Europe’s strengthening economy.
  • Latin America – Lima built on its position as 2013’s fastest growing city in the region, retaining the top spot on the Latin America lineup.
  • Middle East and Africa – Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the global top ten, on track to overtake Paris and Singapore within five years.
  • North America – The region has been fairly consistent since the creation of the index, with Chicago forecasted to be the fastest growing American city this year.

About the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of 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 2014.

Public data are used in deriving the international visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 132 destination cities, using custom-made algorithms; paying special attention to eliminate the hub effects for destination cities such as Singapore, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE:MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

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