The Most Popular City 2013

Bangkok is now the world’s popular tourist destination with 15.98 million overnight visits expected for the year. Those tourists will spend $14.3 billion dollars in the city. Thailand’s capital has been growing rapidly (18% in 2011 and 2012 and 9.8% this year) and leap frogged over last year’s number one: London which is expected to host 15.96 million.

Paris remains in third place but is the only destination city among the top 20 that shows a decline in the estimated number of international visitor arrivals with forecasts of a 0.7 per cent drop.

Number 4 is Singapore who will entertain 11.75million people. Surprisingly it beats New York City with 11.52million

Istanbul sits at sixth place with10.37 million visits – I wonder how this week’s events will impact?

At seventh place, Dubai (9.89 mil increasing their arrival numbers by 10.9%)
8 Kuala Lumpur (9.20 mil)
9 Hong Kong (8.72 mil)
10 Barcelona (8.41 mil)

11 Seoul 8.19 mil
12 Milan 6.83 mil

13 Rome 6.71 mil

14 Shanghai 6.50 mil
15 Amsterdam 6.35 mil

16 Tokyo 5.80 mil
17 Vienna 5.37 mil
18 Taipei 5.19 mil
19 Riyadh 5.05 mil -I was surprised how high this was
20 Los Angeles 4.84 mil



  1. Riyadh has a catchment of Haj pilgrims. Saudi Arabia does not allow individual tourists, or give out tourist visas to individuals.

  2. Riyadh might be a jumping off point for Muslims going to Mecca for the Hajj.
    It is attended by millions ever year.

  3. @geoff : I initially speculated that too, but the best airport for Hajj is actually Jeddah

    @OP : I think the list is for international visitors only, which significantly underrates US p destinations since domestic visitors make up such a huge chunk

    Same for Tokyo – ANA and JAL are flying domestic 773s with 550 seats everyday into Haneda … no way total tourism is that low for the largest metro in the world

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