Where do people travel to? Answer is France or Bangkok! え?


Welcome to another short article by Udon & Pasta. My name is Pasta and I am joined by Udon again……. こんにちはUdonです!宜しくお願いします。

Today we look at the top ten countries and cities with the highest number of international visitors. Data from The World Tourism Organization by the United Nations (UNWTO) shows the following:

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Now, what's fascinating about this, is that Spain’s population is just under 47 million, which means it had nearly twice the number of its population visiting the country in 2017!

それはすごいけど、日本が トップ 10 に出てこない...

But is this ranking fair for countries like the USA, where say travellers from LA to New York are probably not counted, since they are not ‘International Tourists’ and are simply travelling within the same country? On the other hand, France for example, one of the most connected countries in Western Europe by land, can count anyone visiting from neighbouring countries as international visitors.

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But what about the top 10 cities with the highest number of international visitors? Mastercard’s 2018 Global Destination Cities Index show the following data:

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The most important insight from this, is that we see Tokyo on the list! (kidding, but yay).


Thailand, which was ranked 10th in terms of country, has its capital city, Bangkok ranked number 1!


Similarly, the UK, which was ranked 7th in terms of country, has its capital city, London ranked in 2nd place!


But then we also see cities such as Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Seoul, all of which do not have their countries listed in the top 10.


Therefore, if countries want to increase their number of international visitors, maybe they need to promote not just their major cities, but also other parts of the country.


When you plan your international trip, do you think of countries you want to visit or cities you want to go to?


Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this short article by Udon Pasta. More articles are on its way so keep an eye out!

For the full data used for Chat 1, please visit https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284419876

For the full data used for Chart 2, please visit https://newsroom.mastercard.com/press-releases/big-cities-big-business-bangkok-london-and-paris-lead-the-way-in-mastercards-2018-global-destination-cities-index/

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