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Amsterdam Ranks Among Top 20 Tourist Destination Cities

Amsterdam ranks among the top 20 tourist destinations worldwide and the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands is expected to attract 6.9 million international visitors in 2012, according to the Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities issued by MasterCard.

Dynamic Amsterdam now ranks as the 17th most popular destination in the world, same place as 2011. Amsterdam, rich in history and culture, is a rising star as a travel destination and one of the most popular destination in Europe. Amsterdam is also an important hub city, with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol among the top 5 airports in the world.

Reasons for visiting the Dutch capital included the city’s wealth of gourmet restaurants and upmarket bars and taking in the capital’s renowned nightlife. The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to cultural highlights, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch. Other well known places of interest in Amsterdam are the Palace on the Dam, the Artis Zoo and the Rembrandt House.

London has again secured global dominance. It has been crowned number one – the world’s top destination city – for the second year running. It is predicted to grow both in terms of international visitor numbers and expenditure.

Following London in the visitor spend category is New York City, with US$19.4 billion. Yet the city ranks just 13th in number of visitors, with 7.6 million.

According to the report, the outlook for international travel to and expenditure in Europe is fairly rosy for 2012. The top ten cities show a projected combined overall increase in visitor numbers of 2.8% and a rise of 8.1% in terms of projected total international spend. The average international spend per visit is expected to rise for these European cities to $1,172, up 5.1% on last year.

The report adds that total visitor numbers and cross-border spending is expected to increase by 5.7 percent and 10.6 percent respectively for the top 20 destination cities in 2012.

In spite of a challenging global economic backdrop, this year’s Index projects that there are hot spots of robust growth around the globe, in terms of both international visitor arrivals and expenditure,” said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and the author of the report.

“With a new generation of international travelers from emerging markets flocking to the world’s top destinations, global cities continue to represent an important engine of growth,” he said.

Top 20 destinations in 2012

  1. London (16.9 million visitors)
  2. Paris (16 million visitors)
  3. Bangkok (12.2 million visitors)
  4. Singapore (11.8 million visitors)
  5. Istanbul (11.6 million visitors)
  6. Hong Kong (11.1 million)
  7. Madrid (9.7 million)
  8. Dubai (8.8 million)
  9. Frankfurt (8.1 million)
  10. Kuala Lumpur (8.1 million)
  11. Seoul (8 million)
  12. Rome (7.8 million)
  13. New York (7.6 million)
  14. Shanghai (7.5 million)
  15. Barcelona (7.3 million)
  16. Milan (7.1 million)
  17. Amsterdam (6.9 million)
  18. Vienna (6.7 million)
  19. Beijing (6.2 million)
  20. Taipei (5.4 million)

The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, a second annual report that analyzes both visitor traffic and cross-border travel spend in 132 cities around the globe. Authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide, the report ranks the world’s leading destination cities and demonstrates the interconnectivity among those cities.