Good Year for ThailandFor the second year in a row, Bangkok is expected to scoop the runner-up position as one of the world's most popular cities. According to the latest data published in MasterCard's Global Destinations Cities Index, 18.24 million visitors are forecast to spend time in Bangkok this year, making it the most popular urban destination in the Asia Pacific. London, which is expected to attract 18.82 million visitors in 2015, was the only city worldwide to score higher than Bangkok. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor and Deputy Governor for International Marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), was delighted to learn of Bangkok's continued popularity. This is absolutely great news, which could not come at a better time now that Thailand is seeing a strong recovery in all its other tourist markets, she said. I'd like to thank all concerned parties and stakeholders for their tireless efforts in building and re-iterating the image of Bangkok, Thailand's main gateway, as one of the world's most popular tourist cities, complete with both modern conveniences and old world charms, she added. The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index ranks the 132 most-visited cities across the globe, measuring their popularity based on overnight visitor arrivals and spending. Other global destinations in the top ten this year included Paris (16.06 million visitors), Dubai (14.26 million visitors) and Istanbul (12.56 million visitors), while cities to rank highly in the Asia Pacific region included Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Hong Kong. Bangkok, also known as The Venice of the East', has retained the number one spot for the second year in a row and the Index revealed that in terms of spending, the Thai capital ranked seventh in the world with a projected figure of US$12.36 billion in visitor expenditure in 2015. This ranking, as well as a number of awards and honours that Thailand and various Thai destinations, including Bangkok, have received so far this year will certainly motivate us to work harder to welcome tourists, said Juthaporn. Under our 2015 Discover Thainess campaign, we hope to share with all our international guests the Thai way of happiness through various aspects such as, Thai food, Thai arts, Thai wellness, and Thai festivities,' she added. Thailand expects to welcome some 28 million visitors to its shores in 2015, generating an approximate THB1.4 trillion (US$42 billion) in revenue.
by MAX VEE