Bangkok has confirmed its position as one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations, taking the top spot in the just-released MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2017. Five of the top 10 places in the annual survey – which ranks the top 132 destination cities around the world – went to Asia Pacific destinations with the Thai capital proving best of all. It is the second year running the Bangkok has topped the survey. The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2017 ranked cities on their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these visitors in 2016. For Bangkok, this amounted to 19.41 million overnight visitors and visitor spending of USD 14.1 billion.
Earlier this year, the MasterCard Asia-Pacific Destinations Index 2017, which is an off-shoot of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index also named Bangkok first among 171 destinations throughout the region. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the continued world-leading performance of Bangkok in these rankings illustrated the city’s enduring appeal to international travellers.
“The wide array of exotic sights and sounds, things to see and do, and unique Thai local experiences on offer on a holiday in Bangkok make the city a truly fascinating place. Its blend of old and modern charms are also a key attraction, along with its cost effectiveness and easy access.” Mr. Yuthasak cited the TAT’s ‘Walking Bangkok’ initiative as an example of a great way to discover local lifestyles and experience some Thai uniqueness in different areas of the city from the old communities of Nang Loeng and Bang Lamphu to the glitzy lights and modern buzz of Ratchaprasong.
The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2017 honour for Bangkok also comes just ahead of the 1 November 2017 launch of the ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ campaign with grand processions, colourful parades and other festivities planned. The campaign is set to spearhead Thailand’s tourism marketing over the next 12 months and covers various segments such as first-time and repeat visitors, senior citizen travel, sports, women’s travel and niche markets like weddings and honeymoons. Also to take on a higher profile is gastronomical tourism. Thailand will host the fourth edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in Bangkok in May 2018, while a Bangkok edition of the prestigious Michelin Guide is set to launch later this year.