London, Paris most popular cities for tourists in 2012

London is set to welcome 16.9 million visitors this year, the top city worldwide for tourism, according to a MasterCard study. Paris, in second place, is in line to host 16 million.
After London and Paris, Bangkok (12.2 million), Singapore (11.8 million) and Istanbul (11.6 million) are forecast to be attractive draws for tourists in 2012.

In terms of growth in visitor numbers, Rio de Janeiro (+28.6 per cent), Tokyo (+21.5 per cent), Abu Dhabi (+17.9 per cent), Tunis (+17.7 per cent), Istanbul (+14.7 per cent) and Toronto (7.6 per cent) will see the biggest increases compared with last year.

On a global scale, tourists will be heading in large numbers towards the Asia-Pacific region, set to register an increase of 9.5 per cent in total visitors.

In terms of tourist spending, London (US$21.1 billion), New York (US$19.4 billion) and Bangkok (US$19.3 billion) are set to occupy the top three positions, followed by Paris (US$17.8 billion).

The MasterCard study examined 132 cities throughout the world.



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