The World's Top Travel Destinations

Planning a trip to Bangkok this year? If so, you're not alone. The Thai capital tops MasterCard's new ranking of the world's most visited cities, with nearly 16 million tourists expected to see the city this year.
May 29, 2013, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Bangkok -- already home to the world's two most-photographed locations on Instagram -- is now the most visited city in the world by international tourists, according to the new Global Destination City Index, eking out London by less than one percent," reports Derek Thompson. Jake Maxwell Watts attributes the city’s popularity to its luxury malls, which attract China's growing tourist population.

"A map of global tourism spending is really a map of people and money," says Thompson. "Southeast Asian tourism has exploded with the growth of the region's upper-middle class. Chinese tourists have surged to 83 million per year, as Jake Maxwell Watts reports. Eleven of the 12 cities with the fastest increase in air travel connectivity are 'east and south of Istanbul,' reflecting the growth of wealth in Asia and its growing importance as a destination for businesses from the U.S. and Europe."

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Published on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in The Atlantic
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