Istanbul rises to become world’s 5th most visited city

With 12.56 million projected visitors in 2015, Istanbul outpaced New York and Singapore, climbing two spots to become the fifth most visited city in the world, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index released on Wednesday.
The MasterCard-sponsored index evaluates travel patterns to rank 132 global cities by visitors. The top four were London (18.82 million), Bangkok (18.24 million), Paris (16.06 million) and Dubai (14.26 million). Istanbul, which ranked seventh in the 2014 rankings with 11.27 million visitors, climbed to fifth in 2014 with a projected 12.56 million visitors, constituting an increase of 11.4 percent, the highest growth among the top 40 cities on the index.
Istanbul also ranks 10th in spending by overnight visitors at $9.37 billion, a 7.3 percent increase from $8.73 billion in 2014. Among all 132 cities, Istanbul has the most diverse visitor base. The city attracted half of its inbound tourists from 33 different countries, the MasterCard report said. Diversifying sources of visitors means a higher resilience against long-term economic instability, added the report.
In terms of visitor cross-border spending, Istanbul ranks as the fourth most profitable city in Europe after Barcelona. It is expected that 383 million overnight trips will be made to the indexand’s 132 cities in 2015 by visitors who will spend a total of $360 billion during their visits.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman