Preference Center

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10. Antalya, Turkey: Great beaches and traditional culture make this Turkish resort city popular among travelers. The average length of stay? 14 nights. See more of the world's most popular cities for international travelers, according to Mastercard rankings:
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9. Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo has the highest projected international visitor growth -- 10% for 2019 -- among the top 10 cities. In 2018, the city saw 12.93 million international overnight visitors.
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8. Istanbul, Turkey: Istanbul welcomed 13.4 million international overnight visitors in 2018, with 8% growth expected in 2019.
7. New York City, USA: New York welcomed 13.6 million international overnight visitors in 2018, with a nearly 3% increase predicted for 2019.
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur welcomed 13.79 million international overnight visitors in 2018, with nearly 10% growth expected in 2019.
5. Singapore: International visitors stay an average of 4.2 nights in Singapore. More than 14.6 million international visitors stayed overnight in 2018.
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: International visitors to Dubai spend a whopping $553 per day, on average. Dubai is the No. 1 city by dollars spent by international visitors. It ranks fourth by visitor numbers.
3. London, United Kingdom: London welcomed 19.09 million international overnight visitors in 2018, a decrease of nearly 4% from the previous year.
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2. Paris, France: Paris ranked No. 2 for international visitors, with 19.1 million in 2018. Visitors stayed an average of 2.5 nights.
1. Bangkok, Thailand: The world's No. 1 city for international overnight visitors is once again Bangkok. The Thai capital has topped the Mastercard index for four consecutive years, with 22.78 million visitors in 2018.

World's most popular cities revealed

(CNN) — The world's appetite for travel is voracious.
Since 2009, the number of international overnight visitors has grown by 76% globally, according to third-party research and proprietary analysis by financial services company Mastercard.
For the fourth year in a row, Bangkok is the No. 1 most popular city on Mastercard's Global Destination Cities Index.
In 2018, the Thai capital welcomed 22.78 million international overnight visitors, with 3.34% growth forecast for 2019.
Many of Bangkok's visitors originate from these top five destinations, listed in order: Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, India and the United Kingdom. Popular attractions include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and for a day trip outside the city, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
Paris and London rank No. 2 and No. 3 for visitors, both welcoming more than 19 million international visitors for overnight stays in 2018.
Mastercard's index ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of visitor volume and spending data that is publicly available.
All but one of the top 10 cities for visitor numbers in 2018 saw an uptick in international overnight visitors, with increases predicted across the board for 2019.
London was the only city on the current top 10 that saw a visitor decline year-over-year -- a nearly 4% drop.
Asia-Pacific cities have seen the largest regional increase in international travelers since 2009, with a more than 9% increase spurred by rising numbers of mainland Chinese travelers.
The index also ranks cities by international overnight visitor spending. By that measure, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is the No. 1 city. International overnight visitors spent $30.82 billion there in 2018, spending a whopping $553 per day, on average.
By comparison, visitors to Bangkok -- the most popular city by visitor numbers -- spent an average of $184 per day. Bangkok ranked third for total international overnight visitor spending ($20.03 billion), with Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at No. 2 ($20.09 billion). (Mastercard did not specify those figures include accommodation costs.)

Top 10 cities ranked by 2018 visitor numbers

1. Bangkok, Thailand: 22.78 million international overnight visitors
2. Paris, France: 19.10 million international overnight visitors
3. London, England: 19.09 million international overnight visitors
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 15.93 million international overnight visitors
5. Singapore: 14.67 million international overnight visitors
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 13.79 million international overnight visitors
7. New York City, USA: 13.60 million international overnight visitors
8. Istanbul, Turkey: 13.40 million international overnight visitors
9. Tokyo, Japan: 12.93 million international overnight visitors
10. Antalya, Turkey: 12.41 million international overnight visitors
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