World’s number 1 travel destination: Bangkok

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Bangkok is the world’s top destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals, according to an annual ranking released on Thursday.

The Thai capital is projected to receive 21.47mn international overnight visitors in 2016, the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index showed, ahead of London, which will receive 19.88mn, and Paris, which will welcome 18.03mn.

The index projects visitor volume and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year.

Dubai, which is expected to receive 15.27mn visitors in 2016, tops projected international visitor spending at $31.3bn, far ahead of London, where visitors are expected to spend $19.8bn.

Tourism arrivals in Bangkok have remained strong despite a rash of negative headlines.

Last month, a series of coordinated bomb attacks, some of them in popular tourism destinations, left four people dead and dozens injured.

Police said the attacks were not “terrorism related” but rather the work of southern Muslim separatists.

A year earlier, in August 2015, a shrine bombing in central Bangkok killed 20 people, mostly foreigners, while injuring more than 100.

The country has been under military rule since a coup in May 2014.

DPA/Bangkok

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