Johannesburg is set to be the most popular destination city in Africa for the fourth year, followed by Cape Town (third) and Durban (eighth).
This according to the 2016 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. The Index provides more than a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. It projects visitor volume and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world.
The 13 African cities ranked in the Index are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Cairo, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Dakar, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo and Tunis.
“Tourism remains an important driver of South Africa’s economy, and the steady rise in visitor numbers indicates how the City of Gold’s fascinating mix of iconic attractions is proving ever more compelling to today’s international traveller,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, South Africa, Mastercard. “Visitor spend is an increasingly important source of revenue for the city’s hospitality, retail, transport, sports and cultural sectors.”
According to the City of Johannesburg, the Index rating affirms Johannesburg’s position as the economic capital and heartbeat of trade and economic activity on the African continent.
“As the strong numbers of visitors from our neighbouring countries shows, Johannesburg is one of the continent’s most important business, cultural and economic hubs. Tourism is a priority industry for us and a pillar of our economic growth strategy for the years ahead,” says City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Herman Mashaba.
“The index confirms Johannesburg’s status as a destination that attracts repeat visits due to its continually evolving tourism offering, from popular shopping destinations such as our malls to a wide range of lifestyle, sporting and business events.”
New Insights Into The Purpose Of Travel And Local Spend
For the first time, the 2016 Index explores whether visitors travel for business or leisure and provides insights into how international visitors spend their time and money.
The World’s Top Destination Cities
Bangkok is the top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals, just ahead of second-ranked London. Paris, Dubai and New York complete the top five.
“The way people travel and spend across borders indicates just how interconnected and important the world’s cities are,” says Elliott. “As the planning and experience of the trip become increasingly important, Mastercard is bringing all these pieces together seamlessly through innovation and connections.”
About the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index
The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2016. Public data is used in deriving the international overnight visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 132 destination cities, using custom-made algorithms; paying special attention to eliminate the hub effects for destination cities such as Singapore, Dubai, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on Mastercard volumes or transactional data. Download the full report here: http://mstr.cd/2cOTo3W
Source and infographic: Mastercard. Image: theyrecallingtome.wordpress