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20 cities earning most tourist dollars in the world

Last updated on: June 12, 2013 11:18 IST

20 cities earning most tourist dollars in the world

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Although there are many cities that see large number of visitors, but not all are able to earn top dollars.

Let's take a look at some places that earned most tourist dollars in the world, according to MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.

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Image: Shoppers walk past the Cafe De Paris on Via Veneto in Rome, Italy.
Photographs: Tony Gentile/Reuters

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New York City

Country: The United States

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $18.6 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 1

International tourism is becoming a vital and resilient export for the leading destination cities in the world and its economic and social benefits are far-reaching.

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Image: Tourists gather in Times Square in New York City.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters

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London

Country: The United Kingdom

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $16.3 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 2

It is well established that the hospitality industry, the transport industry and food and beverage catering industry, among others, are the primary and direct beneficiaries of the demand created by international visitors.

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Image: Pedestrians walk along Oxford Street in London, United Kingdom.
Photographs: Paul Hackett/Reuters

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Paris

Country: France

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $14.6 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 3

Employment in these industries also tends to be labour intensive, which makes tourist spending a potent driver of employment creation in a destination city.

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Image: People walk past the Printemps department store in Paris, France.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters
Tags: France , Paris

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Bangkok

Country: Thailand

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $14.3 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 4

International visitors to a destination city also seek new and rewarding experiences, especially in the arts, popular culture and entertainment, as well as historical and heritage sites unique to the city.

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Image: A skytrain passes over vehicles in Bangkok, Thailand.
Photographs: Kerek Wongsa/Reuters

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Singapore

Country: Singapore

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $13.5 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 5

These visitors and their spending are therefore powerful catalysts for nurturing and driving the growth of creative industries and urban cultures, while preserving the past in ways that uniquely contribute to the attractiveness of the city in question.

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Image: Singapore's The Marina Bay Sands hotel, left, and ArtScience Museum, right.
Photographs: Matthew Lee/Reuters

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Tokyo

Country: Japan

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $12.7 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 6

So the benefits of international tourism frequently exceed what can be computed in dollar and cents, but affect the very quality and dynamism of urban culture itself.

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Image: Japan's Mt Fuji, covered with snow, is seen through Shinjuku skyscrapers in Tokyo.
Photographs: Kimimasa Mayama/Reuters
Tags: Tokyo , Japan

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Seoul

Country: South Korea

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $10.8 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 7

To the extent that the destination cities succeed in attracting more international visitors, there is the inevitable pressure on improving public infrastructure and facilities.

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Image: Part of Gangnam area is seen down the Han River in Seoul, South Korea.
Photographs: Lee Jae Won/Reuters

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Dubai

Country: United Arab Emirates

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $10.4 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 8

With the right policy responses, a virtuous circle can be set in motion; more international visitors leading to more and better investment to improve the cityscape and the overall urban environment, which in turn makes the destination city more attractive to more international visitors.

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Image: A view of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, in Dubai.
Photographs: Mosab Omar/Reuters

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Sydney

Country: Australia

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $10.4 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 9

Businesses are then encouraged to invest in the city, further improving employment and income.

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Image: An aerial view of Sydney's Opera House and Circular Quay in the city's central business district.
Photographs: Mark Baker/Reuters

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Barcelona

Country: Spain

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $8.9 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 10

Thus, in a slower-growing global economy, destination cities could play a much larger role in sustaining global service trade while supporting their respective national economies through stronger growth in employment and income in their urban economies.

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Image: Tourists stroll along Barcelona's harbour in Spain.
Photographs: Gustau Nacarino/Reuters

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Istanbul

Country: Turkey

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $8.6 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 11

Destination cities have always been important, but they are set to become even more so in the future.

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Image: A view of Istanbul's financial district in Turkey.
Photographs: Murad Sezer/Reuters

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Taipei

Country: Taiwan

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $8.1 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 12

It has been more than four years since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008.

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Image: A view of Taipei 101 building, the landmark of Taiwan.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

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Kuala Lumpur

Country: Malaysia

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $7.8 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 13

Against this background, international travel and cross-border spending have shown to be very resilient as evidenced by data from the cities covered by MasterCard's Global Destination Cities Index.

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Image: A view of the KLCC Park in central Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Photographs: Sim Wei Yang/Reuters

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Los Angeles

Country: The United States

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $7.8 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 14

So despite the persistent weakness of constrained demand in the global economy, international travel is growing strongly.

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Image: A view of the downtown area in Los Angeles.
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

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Shanghai

Country: China

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $6.9 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 15

The destination cities in emerging markets expanding the fastest in air connectivity lie in the Middle East and Asia.

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Image: An aerial view shows vehicles travelling on intersections at night in downtown Shanghai, China.
Photographs: Aly Song/Reuters

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Milan

Country: Italy

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $6.6 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 16

Milan is a major tourist destination not only in Italy, but also in Europe.

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Image: Trams travel in downtown Milan, Italy.
Photographs: Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters
Tags: Europe , Italy , Milan

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Vancouver

Country: Canada

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $6.5 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 17

Vancouver is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada.

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Image: Snowboarders ride a chair lift during night skiing on Grouse Mountain with Vancouver, British Columbia, down below, in Canada.
Photographs: Andy Clark/Reuters

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Rome

Country: Italy

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $6.4 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 18

Rome is one of the most ancient cities in the world.

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Image: An aerial view of St Peter's Square in Rome, Italy.
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Tags: Rome , Italy

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Amsterdam

Country: The Netherlands

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $6.3 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 19

Amsterdam is one of the most open and progressive cities in the world.

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Image: Cyclists visit a Dutch tulip field in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
Photographs: Michael Kooren/Reuters

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Miami

Country: The United States

Tourist dollars earned in 2013: $6.3 billion

Global rank in overnight visitor spend: 20

Miami is world famous for its sunny beaches.


Image: Visitors look at a model of Miami Beach, constructed out of lego bricks, displayed at Legoland Florida during its grand opening celebration in Winter Haven, Florida.
Photographs: Pierre DuCharme/Reuters

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