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In 2016, Germany, Thailand, and Hong Kong were the top destinations for international travelers while China and the United States accounted for roughly one-third of total tourism expenditures worldwide, according to the World Tourism Organization. But, as people typically visit specific cities within a country, and not the entire country, it is far more interesting to examine city-level tourism statistics.

The Global Destination Cities Index, which includes city-level data on the number of overnight international visitors and their spending, reveals that Bangkok attracted the most visitors in 2016, with nearly 21.5 million visitors recorded, followed by London with roughly 20 million visitors, and Paris at 18.3 million. Despite Germany's top rank globally, no German city reached the top 10 for international visitors in 2016.

  • Dubai led globally based on total expenditures of international visitors in 2016, with visitors spending more than $30 billion in the city. Other top-spend cities included London, New York, Paris, and Singapore.
  • In terms of growth, Casablanca, Abu Dhabi, Osaka, Tokyo, and Colombo attracted the most new visitors, a persistent trend for Osaka, which has been among the top 5 cities every year since 2012. There is no overlap between these cities and those with the highest business tourism levels, however; then, Bucharest, Jakarta, and Shanghai jump to the top of the ranking.
Download our latest WORLD CITIES cheat sheet Download

Download our latest WORLD CITIES cheat sheet

While country-level statistics is widespread and easily accessible for most of the countries, city-level data is generally underrepresented in many topics. So, we compiled links to the most relevant datasets containing data on world cities in one cheat sheet to make city-level data more discoverable.

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Cities population

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Global Cities Index, 2014

Bloomberg ranked global cities based on the A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index score. Cities were scored on a scale of zero to 100 according to 26 metrics in five dimensions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement. In 2014 New York kept the first place by the overall score and in the business activity ranking. Fast-growing Asian megacities: Bejing, Shanghai, Singapore - improved their positions.  Source: Global Cities Index, 2014 For the methodology of the sub-indices see the bottom of the page

Prices of Important Traveling Items in Cities Around the World

Make better educated travel decisions with the price index series presented in today's Viz of the Day. The figures highlight common travel-related expenditures, ranging from accommodation, transportation, and urban transit to beer and soccer, and may well help individual travelers to better gauge the relative cost of travel to their destinations of choice. See also: Transportation Price Index | Beer Price Index Source: GoEuro

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Housing affordability and its impact on middle-income households worldwide is emerging as a major concern throughout the developed world. According to the London-based consultancy Knight Frank, housing prices in the world's largest cities rose by 3 percent on average during the last year. The strongest growth was observed in Turkey where average housing prices increased by 18 percent in the last year. In contrast, across the Black Sea in the Ukraine, property prices declined by 12 percent last year. The US house price index published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows a similar increase in property prices, disrupted only by the...