2017 isn’t the only year that Bangkok was crowned the top destination– it won the gong in 2016 too, pipping London twice to take the top spot. Mastercard, the business behind the list, ranked 132 cities globally to see who would come out on top, and the Asia Pacific region as a whole fared well in the list. Nine of the top 20 cities were here, including Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Singapore, with other heavyweights such as Paris and New York finding a place in the top 10. In order to be registered as a visitor on the list, the criteria was spending a night in the city .
Bangkok’s forecast number of visitors saw a four percent increase on the total number from last year, whilst Osaka – which ranked 17th in the list – saw the greatest increase of any city in the top 20, up a whopping 12.7% percent on 2016. The list also showed the amount of money spent in the these cities. Whilst visitors spent $14.1 billion during their stays in Bangkok, the leader in terms of visitors spending was Dubai, with $28.5 billion spend in 2016.
People have long thought that Bangkok was a great destination, and this list confirms it. The city has plenty of things to see and do, which have obviously contributed to its lofty place on the list. Bangkok offers some of the finest shopping experiences in all of Asia; from designer brands to boutiques, humble street markets to shiny new shopping centres, Bangkok has something for people of all tastes, and, importantly, people on all kinds of budgets. Nightlife too is a strong selling point, with a host of world-class nightclubs to choose from and rooftop bars that offer captivating views of the sprawling city.
Away from shopping and drinking, Bangkok offers a number of rich, cultural experiences that many cities simply can’t match. Temples such as Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew prove to be enduringly popular with tourists due to their historical nature and spectacular designs. Museums and art galleries can also be found in the city, as can cooking classes to help travellers recreate their favourite dishes once they get back home.
Finally, unlike some other cities in the top 20, Bangkok is extremely affordable – making it a viable destination for a wider range of travellers. Whilst haute cuisine and five-star hotels can be found here, so too can street food and cheap hostels. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it, and no two trips to Bangkok are the same, leading to millions choosing to revisit the city again and again.