Thai capital to receive most visitors in 2013: report

A new report has declared Bangkok the city of 2013 based on the projected number of international visitors it’s set to receive this year.

According to MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index released Monday, Bangkok is poised to edge out London -- last year’s top city -- by a slim margin of 25,000 visitors in 2013, equivalent to one percent.

Rounding out the top five cities to receive the highest number of international visitors this year are London, Paris, Singapore and New York.

Meanwhile, the third edition of MasterCard’s report also highlights a growing trend when it comes to international travel: the dominance and growing popularity of the Asia-Pacific region.

Of the 132 cities ranked, for instance, 42 hail from Asia. After Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Seoul are projected to be the most popular Asian destinations for international tourists.

“Bangkok brought with it great momentum from last year. Its ascent to number one is not only a first for Asia, it’s emblematic of the rise of the Global South which encompasses much of Africa and Asia as well as South America,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and author of the report.

Meanwhile, Visa issued its own report earlier this year, pointing to signs that international spending is on the rise, particularly in Canada, Brazil, Mexico and the US: last year, visitors spent six percent more compared to 2011.