The Thai capital will also rank third in the world behind only London and Paris.
But the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities, released on June 1, indicates that Bangkok’s position in Asia is likely to be challenged by other up-and-coming cities in the region, which are showing higher rates of growth in visitor arrivals.
Bangkok will also do well in terms of total visitor spending, ranking fourth in the world behind London, New York and Paris, and once again first in Asia.
The MasterCard survey is, say its compilers, “a new approach to understanding the global economy from the perspective of connectivity between global cities, especially in terms of international travel and cross-border expenditures”.
Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide, who led the research team, explained, “The leading cities of the world – the global cities – are the … hubs that knit the global economy together. Without these global cities, there would be no global economy.”
The Index projects that the 132 destination cities surveyed worldwide will record visitor and expenditure growth of up to 30 per cent in 2011.
Cities in the Asia-Pacific are predicted to take eight of the top 20 places, with Bangkok ranking third overall and first in Asia, with a projected 11.5 million visitors. It is followed by Singapore (fourth with 11.4 million visitors), Hong Kong (fifth, 10.9 million).
Also in the global Top 20 are Seoul (in 11th place), Kuala Lumpur (14th), Shanghai (18th), Taipei (19th) and Tokyo (20th).
Only one city in North America makes it into the top 20 – New York, ranked 12th with 7.6 million inbound passengers expected.
When it comes to spending by all these visitors, Bangkok will also come out top in Asia (4th worldwide, behind London, New York and Paris), attracting US$14.4 billion in spending. Singapore will come second, though a long way behind, with visitor spending of US$10.8bn, followed by Hong Kong (US$10.4bn) and Taipei (US$8.5bn).
In terms of visitor growth, however, the Index predicts that Kuala Lumpur (21.8 per cent) will outshine Bangkok (20.2 per cent).
And – possibly as shot across the bow – Bangkok drops to ninth place in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of growth in visitor spending. Once again it is KL that shines, with predicted spending growth of 31 per cent, compared with Bangkok’s 18.6 per cent.
The Index can be downloaded as a PDF file from here.