10 most popular cities for international travelers in 2017
Posted September 26, 2017 5:17 a.m. EDT
For the second year in a row, Bangkok is poised to be the most popular city in the world for international travelers.
The Thai capital is projected to welcome nearly 20.2 million international overnight visitors this year, according to a report by financial services corporation Mastercard.
Mastercard's 2017 Global Destination Cities Index looks at visitor volume and spending to rank 132 top destination cities.
GALLERY: See the full top 10 cities
Before Bangkok's two-year run in the No. 1 spot, London occupied the top ranking. London retained its No. 2 spot for the second year running, with projected arrivals topping 20 million in 2017.
Paris is in third place with 16.1 million visitors forecast. Dubai, coming in at No. 4, expects to see just over 16 million international visitors in 2017.
Singapore rounds out the Top 5 for arrivals, with nearly 13.5 million international visitors expected in 2017.
Dubai is at the top of the ranking for visitor spending. In 2016, its 14.9 million international overnight visitors spent $28.5 billion, with more than 10% growth forecast for 2017. New York and London rank second and third, respectively, in spending.
Across all 132 destination cities, international overnight arrivals have increased by more than 55% since 2009. That figure significantly outpaces GDP growth during the same period.
The report also ranks the top 20 fastest-growing cities from 2009 to 2016, with Japan's Osaka topping the charts with a 24% annual growth rate over that period, followed by Chengdu in China's Sichuan province at 22.7% and Colombo in Sri Lanka at 20.3%.
The index is not based on Mastercard transactional data. Public data is used in compiling the index.
Top 10 destination cities with 2017 projected arrivals
1. Bangkok, Thailand -- 20.19 million visitors
2. London, England -- 20.01 million visitors
3. Paris, France -- 16.13 million visitors
4. Dubai, UAE -- 16.01 million visitors
5. Singapore -- 13.45 million visitors
6. New York, USA -- 12.36 million visitors
7. Seoul, South Korea -- 12.44 million visitors
8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- 12.08 million visitors
9. Tokyo, Japan -- 12.51 million visitors
10. Istanbul, Turkey -- 9.24 million visitors