Having hosted 22.78 million visitors who stayed for at least one night in 2018, the City of Angels is still the most-visited in the world, according to Mastercard's annual Global Destination Cities Index ranking of 200 destination cities

Thailand's capital city is the world's most popular destination for the fourth consecutive year. Rankings are based upon the number of overnight visitors; the average Bangkok stay was 4.8 nights. Thailand's success as a destination city is undeniable. Mastercard projects that the number of visitors will have increased by 3.34 per cent by the end of 2019.

Paris and London have exchanged rankings since last year. The City of Lights is thus the planet's second-most popular destination, having welcomed 19.10 travelers in 2018. This year, Paris' numbers are expected to have grown by 2.24 per cent, despite the "yellow vest" protests which have weakened tourism. London, in third place, was visited by 19.09 million tourists in 2018, a decline of nearly 4 per cent.

Even if travellers are waiting to see the consequences of Brexit, Mastercard estimates that the number of the British capital's visitors will have increased by 3.47 per cent at the end of 2019.

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Above (Image: Lisheng Chang/Unsplash)

The numbers are reshuffled in terms of visitor spending. Visitors spend the most money in Dubai, at an average of $553 per day. For comparison, an average US$184 (S$254) is spent in Bangkok, US$296 in Paris, and US$148 in London.

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The world's top 10 most popular destination cities of 2018: 

1. Bangkok (22.78 million visitors)

2. Paris (19.10 million visitors)

3. London (19.09 million visitors)

4. Dubai (15.93 million visitors)

5. Singapore (14.67 million visitors)

6. Kuala Lumpur (13.79 million visitors)

7. New York (13.60 million visitors)

8. Istanbul (13.40 million visitors)

9. Tokyo (12.93 million visitors)

10. Antalya (12.41 million visitors)

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