London has been ranked as the world’s top destination for international visitors with an estimated 18.82 million people expected to stay overnight in the city in 2015. London has topped the rankings carried out by Mastercard as part of its Global Cities Destination Index for 5 of the past 7 years.
The index looks at how 132 of the world’s most important cities are connected by air travel, him many international visitors they receive and the amount those visitors spend. Visitor numbers are based on data from governments and tourist boards and the role of some cities, like London, as a flight hub is factored in.
London remains slightly ahead of Bangkok, with global city rivals Paris and New York also in the top 10.
The top feeder city for visitors to London is New York, accounting for nearly 1 million people. Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt and Stockholm, make up the top 5, but London has a very diversified source of visitors with 50% coming from 26 different cities. In comparison, 50% of Bangkok’s visitors come from just 13 cities.
London tops the list for spending by international visitors. Mastercard estimates that this will be a little over $20 billion in 2015, that’s 16% above its nearest rival in the spending league, New York.
And London also heads the index as the world’s leading flight hub. Mastercard looked at connectivity and the frequency of non-stop flights to international destinations scoring London ahead of Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt and Istanbul.