The British capital is the world's top tourist destination this year, just ahead of the 2013 winner Bangkok, Thailand. Paris is in third place, according to the latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.
As reported by this annual ranking, which is based on the number of international tourists as well as on traveler spending, London will host some 18.7 million visitors this year, compared to 18.37 million for Bangkok. The British destination is in first place in MasterCard's index for the third time in four years; Bangkok dominated the ranking last year.
Paris, meanwhile, is in third place with an estimated 15.57 million tourists in 2014. These visitors, whether in town on vacation or on business, are expected to spend around ‚ā¨12.5 billion in the French capital. Singapore (12.47 visitors) and Dubai (11.95 million) round out the top five.
Overall, Europe is well represented, accounting for eight of the top 20 destinations. In addition to Paris and London, the index lists Istanbul (7th), Barcelona (11th), Amsterdam (12th), Milan (13th), Rome (14th) and Vienna (17th).
The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index ranks 132 cities based on the total number of international visitor arrivals and the spending of these visitors in their destination cities. The ranking also provides growth forecasts on the number of visitors expected in each city over the whole of 2014.