London is top tourist destination

LONDON was yesterday named as the world’s top visitor destination for the second year running, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.

The report shows that Britain’s capital has retained its number one position in terms of visitor numbers, with 16.9m tourists expected this year. It is also expected to record the highest international visitor spend, with tourists set to spend $21bn (£13.6bn).

Second place for international visitor spend goes to New York, where 7.6m tourists are expected to spend $19.4bn. Bangkok is a close third with $19.3bn from 12.2m tourists.

“This year we’ve seen a real distinction between financial markets and consumer markets. Modern financial markets are truly interconnected so a crisis in one region quickly impacts the rest of the world,” said MasterCard’s Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, the author of the report.

“Cities focused on consumers rise and fall based on local conditions, such as employment and income, with conditions varying greatly from one city to the next, irrespective of the global economic environment.”

The annual report is put together using international flight capacity data and spending estimates from the United Nations and International Monetary Fund.