Top 10 Cities with the Highest International Tourist Spending in 2022
More than just spending, these cities offer their own charms to entice international travelers in 2022. From the beauty of the city of love Paris to the luxury of the desert city of Dubai, today's international travelers continue to search for the best destinations that can provide unforgettable experiences, especially after the pandemic that brought the world to a standstill.
This article is based on the latest data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), containing the 10 most popular cities visited by international travelers in 2022. Due to the pandemic, many travelers have opted to change their vacation destinations from densely populated cities to quieter coastal and rural destinations. However, new research from WTTC shows that city vacations are making a comeback and are increasingly in demand.
The report, supported by Visa and conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics, analyzes key indicators such as the Travel & Tourism sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), job creation and tourist spending.
Known for its towering Burj Khalifa and exciting attractions such as desert tours and cruises, Dubai offers an exceptional experience for international visitors. Tax exemptions, luxury shopping and the city's commitment to providing a luxurious experience have made it a top destination for shopping enthusiasts from around the world. Its location is also a major factor in its success. Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Dubai also boasts one of the busiest and most accessible airports in the world. International travelers are expected to generate nearly $30 billion in the city by 2022.
Doha offers a unique and immersive cultural experience with attractions such as the Qatar National Museum and Souq Waqif. The city boasts incredible and diverse architecture, including the iconic Museum of Islamic Art and the newly constructed Qatar National Museum. Visitors can enjoy fine dining and explore local cuisine at Katara Cultural Village and Souq Waqif. For the adventurous, Doha offers exciting activities such as desert safaris and camel riding. The city also offers luxury experiences with five-star resorts such as Banana Island by Anantara and visits to The Pearl, an artificial island known for its marina and high-end shopping.
With these offerings, Doha is estimated to generate $16.79 billion in tourist spending by 2022.
London has long been a magnet for those seeking luxury, and the city answers with a myriad of exclusive amenities for wealthy travelers. With more five-star hotels than any other city, London offers an unparalleled stay. Not only that, but you can also experience the thrill of shopping at high-end designer boutiques, as well as exploring museums, galleries and iconic landmarks that take the world by storm.
But London's appeal isn't just limited to the elite. The city also welcomes travelers from all corners of the globe with open arms. It's no wonder that global visitor numbers are expected to reach $16 billion by 2022, as London has an alluring appeal to anyone who visits it.
The "Las Vegas of Asia," Macau has been an undeniable draw for international travelers for years. Moreover, due to its efforts to deal with post-pandemic challenges, the city has further strengthened its position as an undisputed global tourist destination.
In 2022, travelers from around the world accounted for $15.6 billion in revenue, and forecasts for the next decade suggest the figure will double. This growth is mainly driven by visits from China and Hong Kong, which significantly contribute to the number of incoming tourists.
Notes: While Macau is currently part of China, its status as a Special Administrative Region gives it a unique "One Country, Two Systems" principle.
With its beautiful historic buildings, charming canals and renowned museum collections, Amsterdam is one of Europe's most attractive tourist destinations. However, Amsterdam is not just a vacation spot, it is also a business destination that attracts thousands of global business visitors every year. Although the Dutch tourism and business industries were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Amsterdam managed to bounce back.
In 2022, Amsterdam won the title as one of the cities with the highest international tourist spending. The amount of spending generated by visitors reached the fantastic figure of $13.59 billion. This shows that despite its serious challenges, Amsterdam manages to attract tourists and entrepreneurs from all over the world, providing unforgettable experiences and lucrative business opportunities.
Istanbul, a unique city that captivates with its natural beauty, exciting atmosphere and rich history, creates unforgettable experiences at every step. Known as the capital of four great empires, namely Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman, Istanbul offers a dazzling historical landscape. The city is also the meeting point between Asia and Europe, allowing travelers to cross the Bosphorus and enjoy the beauty of cruise tourism.
The vibrant nightlife, stunning landmarks such as Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace, delicious traditional Turkish food, shopping in modern malls or traditional bazaars, the natural beauty of the city, the lingering Ottoman glory, traditional Turkish baths, and the famous Turkish hospitality are all highlights of Istanbul that entice visitors from all over the world. It's no surprise that Istanbul earned $13.13B in visitor spend by 2022.
The city's beautiful and historic architecture is hypnotizing to anyone who visits. From Roman-era buildings to famous medieval architecture, the city offers the experience of seeing ancient buildings that are thousands of years old. In addition, FC Barcelona is a big draw for sports fans with its magnificent Camp Nou stadium. Barcelona is also known for its lively festivals and street parties throughout the year. That's not all, the city also has breathtaking beaches that allow tourists to sail. Barcelona is an exciting place to live with a rich culture, earning $12.73B in tourist spending by 2022.
New York City
New York City is a popular destination for travelers who want to experience the best of American culture, arts, and entertainment. In addition to the iconic sights and luxury hotels, travelers can enjoy the city's famous live music performances and culinary tours, exciting sporting events, or the dazzling lights and energy of Times Square. And who hasn't seen the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, symbols of freedom and the American dream? With so much to see and do, New York City remains a top destination for travelers from around the world. This is also the reason why New York receives a huge amount of visitor spending, reaching $12.45 billion.
Singapore has become a popular destination for travelers seeking a blend of architectural wonders, culinary delights, and a vibrant multicultural atmosphere. The city-state is a foodie's paradise, with hawker centers offering a fusion of Chinese, Malay, and Indian flavors alongside Michelin-starred restaurants. Travelers can also immerse themselves in colorful festivals and explore the interesting shops of Singapore's ethnic diversity. Singapore also offers a variety of family attractions such as the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and Universal Studios Singapore.
Surrounded by skyscrapers, Singapore's green spaces include the UNESCO-listed Gardens by the Bay and the Botanic Gardens. Finally, Singapore's Changi Airport, which is consistently ranked as the best in the world, is also a must-see in Singapore. With its diversity, it's no wonder that Singapore earned $10.97 billion in visitor spending last year.
Paris is a city that has captivated travelers for centuries. It is a city that has something to offer everyone, whether you are a wealthy tourist or traveling on a budget. One of the main reasons why Paris is so popular is because of its stunning landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, which features impressive architecture and design, and many other interesting museums. The city is also famous for its world-renowned cuisine, which attracts foodies from all over the world.
Paris is also a shopper's paradise, with high-end stores and unique souvenirs for all tastes. In addition, the city has a thriving café culture that is ingrained in Parisian society. Sitting in a Parisian café, sipping coffee, and watching the world go by is an experience not to be missed. In short, Paris is a timeless city that everyone should visit at least once in their life. So it's no surprise that Paris received $9.76 billion in international tourist spending by 2022.
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