10 + 2 Cidades mais visitadas do Mundo (2012)

10 + 2 Most Visited Cities In The World 2012
In the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.

1. London

London leads the world as both the most popular destination city for overseas travelers, and in the average amount each visitor spends. Whether drawn by business or as tourists, London's visitors from New York are the ones that travel the furthest and spend the most. 

2. Paris

Paris retains its second-place rank, but has seen a decline of 0.6% in its visitor numbers, with 16 million to visit this year. It remains a shopping haven, though, with visitors expected.

3. Bangkok

Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya River is a world-famous landmark of Bangkok, which is expected 12.2 million visitors this year.Thailand's capital leads the Asia/Pacific region in the total number of visitors and visitor spending and is expected to displace Paris as the third-ranking city by visitor spending.

4. Singapore

With a population of less than 5 million, Singapore expects 11.8 million visitors this year. Although it is a melting pot of cultures, including Indian, Chinese and Malay, English is the dominant language, and Westerners do not tend to experience the culture shock there that occurs elsewhere in the region.

5. Istanbul

As a travel destination, Istanbul is a rising star, with sights like the Hagia Sophia mosque shown here. The number of visitors rose by 14.7%, and it moved up one rank as a popular destination since last year, displacing Hong Kong. It also has the highest growth rate in visitor spending — an impressive 20.7%.

6. Hong Kong

Its majestic harbor beckons, with 11.1 million visitors expected this year, but visitor spending in Hong Kong has declined by one rank.

7. Madrid

Cibeles Fountain
Its architecture and museums make Madrid #4 of top European destination cities (after London, Paris and Istabul), and #7 worldwide.

8. Dubai

Sometimes called the shopping capital of the Middle East, Dubai has displaced Rome as the eighth most visited city in the world. It also retains its rank as number one of the top 10 destination cities in the Middle East and Africa. 

9. Frankfurt

This city shows growth in both the number of visitors and what they are expected to spend. With 8.1 million visitors this year, it's #5 in Europe's top 10 destination cities for international travelers.

10. Kuala Lumpur

A construction boom has altered the cityscape of the downtown area of Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia. 8.1 million visitors in 2012, making it #4 of the top 10 Asia/Pacific destination cities (after Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong).

11. Seoul
Being one of the fastest-growing destination cities by visitor numbers pumps money into Seoul's economy. International visitors are expected to spend an estimated $10.6 billion there this year – an increase of 16.2% over last year. It's now #4 in the top 10 Asia/Pacific destination cities by international visitor spending (after Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney).

12. Rome
It hasn't lost any of its charm, but Rome has slipped in popularity as a tourist destination, falling by four ranks to #12. Are economic forces at play?

Source: forbes.com
Photos by istockphoto.com

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