For many of us, off-the-beaten-path destinations are much more appealing than visiting a city rammed with millions of people.
However, available numbers show that tourists are still attracted to the same popular spots year in and year out.
The source of our data is the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2019, and the statics rank 200 popular cities based on the number of international overnight guests they are set to receive in 2020, based on facts of the 2019 monthly data, as well as the weighted average of the national-level tourism forecasts.
The index reveals the volume of international overnight visitors in the cities featured has grown by a shocking 76% since 2009 — however, the trends in recent years look pretty similar.
Below are the 19 most visited cities on earth in 2019, ranked in ascending order according to the total number of international visitors they’re prepared to receive.
19. Bali, Indonesia — 8.26 million
Bali’s beaches and temples is a serene environment, and that has helped make it one of the most famous tourist sites in Southeast Asia.
18. Palma de Mallorca, Spain — 8.96 million
It is easy to spot the appeal in Palma’s colorful buildings, fortresses, beaches, and art scene — mainly because it sits nicely on the Mediterranean Sea. A quick look at some of the pictures online will give you an idea of what people enjoy in this destination.
17. Barcelona, Spain — 9.09 million
Barcelona is one place that has it all — art, history, culture, architecture, fabulous food, and a lovely beach, too. Great place to do business and have a family vacation.
16. Milan, Italy — 9.10 million
This is a fast-paced city that is not just big on business but also fashion, art, fine wine, and food. This means that it is quite understandable why more business travelers and tourists ever are flocking there now more than ever.
15. Pattaya, Thailand — 9.44 million
The first city in Thailand to make the list is Pattaya, and it sits on the eastern Gulf coast of the culturally rich country. Pattaya is known for its beautiful beaches.
14. Phuket, Thailand — 9.89 million
Just one step ahead of Pattaya is Phuket, another beautiful place in Thailand where visitors can enjoy the serenity of a beach paradise, as well as lush jungles.
13. Mecca, Saudi Arabia — 10 million
Mecca has been a tourist site for hundreds of years. It’s tourists splash out when they visit the city — the amount of money spent by tourists in this Islamic holy land per day is second only to the amount spent in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, per the current ranking.
12. Osaka, Japan — 10.14 million
Osaka is known for many things, but only some people know it is Japan’s third-largest city. The ever-vibrant Osaka is perfect for anyone who is in search of a culinary adventure and plenty of exciting cultures.
11. Seoul, South Korea — 11.25 million
The capital of lively South Korea is metropolitan. Tourists can’t seem to get enough of the city’s temples, skyscrapers, and street markets.
10. Antalya, Turkey — 12.41 million
One of the world’s most popular place for people who own yachts, Antalya may be attractive because it has a good number of fabulous beaches, but it has also gained fame for its history because sometime in the past it was a major Roman port.
9. Tokyo — 12.93 million
Tokyo was welcoming enough to get the most significant uptake in tourists last year alone of any city featured on the list.
8. Istanbul — 13.4 million
Turkey seems to be the perfect destination for many travelers. The second Turkish city to grab a spot on this list is Istanbul. Most tourists travel to Istanbul mainly for the experience of its stunning mosques and many mosaics, as well as its malls and modern skyscrapers.
7. New York City — 13.6 million
Who would say no to a trip to the beautiful city of bright lights? That’s right; no one will. New York City has a lovely appeal that never seems to die. In 2020 many visitors are expected to make a trip to the Big Apple than they did last year.
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — 13.79 million
If you have had an opportunity to talk with many tourists, you most likely have heard most of them talk about Malaysia. People most likely find it easy to recognize the iconic modern skyline of the Malaysian capital, highlighted by its lovely Petronas Twin Towers.
5. Singapore — 14.67 million
This is one city-state that may be more popular as a financial hub, but it has a tropical climate as well as many luxury hotels that are a significant attraction for international tourists.
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates — 15.93 million
The index has revealed that people who visit Dubai are ready to leave all the money they have in the city as they spend more money than in any other city in the world, with an incredible $553 a day.
3. London — 19.09 million
Down one spot from its 2018 position, London found itself as the only city on this list to suffer a decrease in visitors over the last 12 months, with 4% fewer visitors heading to the capital.
2. Paris — 19.1 million
Taking the place as number two from London since 2018, Paris is loved because everything about it is romantic. No matter the season or weather, it is the go-to place for its lovely gardens, fountains, and easy access to many things.
1. Bangkok — 22.78 million
Visitors you travel to Bangkok, which is the most visited city in the world for the fourth year in a row, have also be found to spend the third most money of any city featured on the list.
We hope that you found this article helpful. Let us know about the places you have recently visited, and the cities you want to visit in 2020.
We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions.
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Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.