BANGKOK: Among the 171 destinations in the Asia- Pacific region, Bangkok, once again retains the title of the top destination in terms of visitor numbers.
The latest figures from Mastercard ‘Asia-Pacific Destinations Index 2017’ revealed that Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is the most visited destination in the region.
Bangkok welcomed 19.3 million international overnight arrivals in 2016 of the 339.2 million visits made to the 171 Asia-Pacific destinations on the Mastercard list.
This put the Thai capital above second place Singapore, which attracted 13.1 million. Thai destinations Phuket and Pattaya also placed in the Top Ten on the report, with 9.1 million and 8.1 million overnight visits, respectively.
The Mastercard Asia-Pacific Destinations Index 2017 ranks 171 destinations in 22 countries, including resorts, towns and cities. They are ranked in terms of the total number of international overnight arrivals, cross-border spending, and the total number of nights spent at each destination.
Bangkok also topped the list of total nights stayed with 87.6 million nights, showing that visitors to Asia-Pacific destinations are travelling for longer periods.
In 2016, visitors to the region stayed for 1,768.7 million nights, compared with 1,023.1 million nights in 2009, representing an 8.1 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
In terms of overall tourism expenditure in the region, Bangkok took second place with spending of US$12.7 billion of the US$244.9 billion spent in 2016. Singapore topped the list with US$15.4 billion.
The growing numbers of tourists from China and South Korea helped to boost these figures to the Asia-Pacific region.
Meanwhile, China was the top source market for visitors to Bangkok with affluent Chinese seeking out shopping and dining experiences in the region.
The Mastercard Asia-Pacific Destinations Index is an off-shoot of the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index and reflects the increasing importance of the Asia-Pacific region for tourism.
In 2016, five of the ten most visited cities in the world were in the Asia-Pacific region.