For the second consecutive year, Bucharest ranks as the European destination with the highest potential for development, according to the Global Mastercard Index of Urban Destinations 2019, a study that offers a significant analysis on urban tourism and the behavior of tourists from the last 10 years.
Despite major recent social changes and technological advancements, people’s desire to travel around the world, visit and learn about other cultures has remained unchanged. The Global Mastercard Index of Urban Destinations 2019 quantifies this desire: since 2009, the number of tourists who have used accommodation services has increased by 76 percent.
“Bucharest is at the top of the cities with the highest development potential, maintaining its first position among the destinations in Europe. Travel has become an important part of our lifestyle and it is critical to understand how tourism impacts large cities globally. The study also offers a broad perspective on the behavior of tourists, offering the opportunity to understand their needs and the experiences they are seeking,” says Cosmin Vladimirescu, the Country Manager of Mastercard Romania.
According to the study, Bucharest registers development potential of 10.3 percent, among cities in Europe. The study also reveals that 1.4 million tourists resorted to accommodation services in the last year, and the average value spent per day reached USD 105, compared to the previous year, when this amount was USD 200.
This year, the Global Mastercard Idea of Urban Destinations includes 200 cities, selected based on a thorough analysis of the volume of tourists and their expenses in 2018. The study also offers growth forecasts for 2019, as well as information on the average length of stay and the amount spent per day by tourists.
Bangkok remains the most visited city in the world
This year, the Global Mastercard Index of Urban Destinations reveals that Bangkok has remained the no. 1 destination in the world, with over 22 million tourists having used accommodation services.
Paris and London take the 2nd and 3rd places, exceeding 19 million tourists. In 2018, the top 10 cities recorded a greater number of tourists than in the previous year, except for London, which decreased by almost 4 percent. The forecasts for 2019, provided by the study, indicate a general increase, especially for Tokyo, the city where the largest increase in the number of accommodated tourists is expected.
In terms of the amount spent by tourists during a stay, Dubai is at the top of the list, where tourists spend an average of USD 553 per day. Makkah, having just entered the top 10 last year, remains in second place for the second consecutive year.
For the first time this year, the Global Mastercard Index of Urban Destinations offers 3 key trends in terms of tourism globally:
Consistent and balanced growth: Every year, more and more people travel internationally and spend more money in the cities they visit. For all destinations present in the study, the flow of tourists has increased on average by 6.5 percent every year starting with 2009, and the spending has increased on average by 7.4 percent.
Sustained dominance of large cities: Although there has been a significant change among tourists who choose smaller cities, the first 10 cities in the top have remained largely consistent in this regard. London, Paris and Bangkok are in the top 3 positions in 2010, with Bangkok having been no. 6 in the last seven years. New York is another city in the top 10, with 13.6 million tourists using accommodation this year.
Growth of planned travel in the Asia-Pacific region: Cities in the Asia-Pacific region registered the highest increase in the number of tourists in 2009, with 9.4 percent. In comparison, Europe, which recorded the second highest growth, grew by only 5.5 percent.