Dubai ranks ninth globally for inbound visitors in 2011 – Index
London tops inbound figures and most tourist spend as MasterCard’s Index surveys factors like connectivity and being a destination city and how it affects the rate of economic recovery.
June 6, 2011 5:22 by Precious de Leon
The world’s most prominent cities, including those hit hardest by the financial crisis, are leading global recovery through their connectivity and as destination cities for international visitors, according to the inaugural MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities, released this Monday.
Dubai ranks ninth in the Index, in terms of numbers of inbound international visitors and outstripping cities such as New York, Amsterdam, Kuala Lampur and Shanghai.
With 7.9 million international visitors expected in 2011, Dubai is the ninth most highly ranked destination city in the world. This represents a growth rate of 17.3 percent when compared to 2010, a marked increase from the visitor growth of 13.5 percent that the city experienced over 2009. Dubai also ranks eighteenth in the world in terms of the volume of international visitor spend with $7.8 billion anticipated in 2011, up from $6.3 billion in 2010 and $5.2 billion in 2009.
For Abu Dhabi, the expectation is for robust growth of 15.5 percent in terms of inbound international visitors in 2011 compared to 2010. The capital is also expected to draw in an international visitor spend of $2 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 21.8 percent compared to 2010.
Other key findings:
- London, Kuwait and Beijing emerged as the top three origin cities for Dubai in terms of number of inbound passenger arrivals.
- The highest jump in arrivals was witnessed for Jeddah (56 percent), Amsterdam (54 percent) and Beijing (36 percent). Correspondingly, these three origin cities also recorded the highest jump in terms of growth in spend in Dubai, registering spikes of 68 percent, 55 percent and 51 percent respectively.
- Business visitors constituted a big proportion of total inbound arrivals into Dubai from Kuwait (39.4 percent), Paris (32.5 percent), Frankfurt (32. 4 percent), London (31.4 percent) and Beijing (30.3).
- London, Frankfurt and Jeddah emerged as the top three origin cities for Abu Dhabi in terms of number of inbound passenger arrivals. At the same time, the highest jump in arrivals was witnessed for Paris (47 percent), Manchester (46 percent) and Chicago (42 percent).
- In slightly different order, the highest jump in terms of growth in spend in Abu Dhabi was registered by Manchester (53.8 percent), Paris (48.3 percent) and Chicago (45.7 percent).
- Business visitors constituted a big proportion of total inbound arrivals into Abu Dhabi from Jeddah (35.1 percent), Frankfurt (32.5 percent), London (30.1 percent), Paris (27.2 percent) and Bangkok (25.6 percent).
- Overall London topped the world’s cities by visitor numbers with 20.1 million inbound passengers expected in 2011, ahead of Paris in second with 18.1 million.
- Cities in Asia/Pacific account for eight of the top twenty with Bangkok ranked third, projected to have 11.5 million visitors this year, followed by Singapore with 11.4 million and Hong Kong with 10.9 million visitors. Only one city in North America is in the top twenty, New York, which is ranked twelfth with 7.6 million inbound passengers expected.
- London also ranked first on cross-border expenditure, ahead of New York in second place, and Paris in third. Estimated expenditures in these cities for 2011 amounted to $25.6 billion, $20.3 billion and $14.6 billion respectively. Bangkok ranks fourth with visitor expenditures estimated at $14.4 billion, followed by Frankfurt in fifth rank with $14 billion.
The latest Index is MasterCard’s new approach to understanding the global economy from the perspective of connectivity between global cities, especially in terms of international travel and cross-border expenditures. The emergent picture depicting this network of connectivity between these global destination cities can serve as a new road map for a deeper understanding of the dynamic flow of global commerce.
“While cities have been measured by their processing of capital and goods and services in the past, data on the human dimension of globalisation – cross-border travel by air and expenditures – has not been as readily available. Global trade and investment are important, but better human connectivity would certainly complement them in driving global commerce forward on a more balanced and productive foundation,” said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide.
The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks 132 cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2011. This Index and the accompanying reports, however, are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.
“We are delighted to see Dubai and Abu Dhabi emerging as vital destination centers regionally and globally. This is exceptionally good news as we see signs of renewed consumer optimism and economic growth in the UAE. Travel is a critical driver of this emerging landscape, and the Global Cities Index is part of our endeavor to understand the wider economic significance and business impact of inbound travel into cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Raghu Malhotra, general manager, Middle East, MasterCard Worldwide.