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Bangkok at night.
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Number 1.
TOURISM ECONOMY

The overwhelming majority of popular tourist destinations are in Asia

Karen Hao
By Karen Hao

Junior Data Scientist & Contributor

Move over, London and Paris. On tourism charts, Western cities no longer reign supreme.

In 2012, Bangkok, London, and Paris competed fiercely for the spot of top destination city. Now, Bangkok has far surpassed Paris, Paris could soon fall below Dubai, and New York, already below Singapore, could soon dip further past Seoul. Simply put, tourists are choosing to spend their time and money in Asian cities.

And this is an important metric to keep track of: “Since 2009, international travel and spending by overnight visitors to cities have grown faster than real GDP,” reports Mastercard’s 2017 Global Destination Cities Index. Tourism, in other words, is fueling the rapid development of the East.

In celebration of World Tourism Day, here are three charts showing the top 10 cities for tourists, tourism spending, and growth.

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