According to a report published by Mastercard, Bangkok has been crowned as the most visited city in the world in 2023, with a total of 22.78 million tourists.
The recognition doesn't stop there, as two other Thai cities have successfully made it into the top 20 most popular tourist destinations. Phuket and Pattaya also secured positions 14 and 15 on the list, with 9.89 million and 9.44 million tourists respectively in 2023.
A summary of the report indicates that visitors can enjoy the convenience of large shopping malls and modern spaces before deciding to explore the city's collection of golden temples. The report also suggests that tourists can follow their noses to discover Bangkok's numerous bustling street markets, which offer a variety of tastes such as spicy, sour, sweet and salty. Afterwards, they can continue their adventure by taking a boat to reach the famous floating markets there.
Despite a drop in ranking from 12th to 14th this year, Phuket continues to receive recognition for its beautiful beaches and karst islands. The city has two national parks and several islands that attract visitors.
The report reveals that Phuket's beaches are truly breathtaking, ranging from lively Patong, known for its nightlife, to luxurious Surin and Ao Bang Thao. In addition, the stunning coral reefs of the Similan Islands attract scuba divers and snorkeling groups eager to explore the sparkling waters. Phuket also offers museums, cooking classes, Chinese temples and wildlife sanctuaries to maintain its appeal.
Meanwhile, Pattaya, which jumped three places to 15th, is praised for its endless beach fun and central themed party areas. The report indirectly mentions that Pattaya has amazing temples and holy sites, but its reputation is more associated with its beachfront resorts.
The report also suggests taking a city tour of Pattaya before settling down on the beach for more sun and relaxation, making it a city that fully embraces a hedonistic attitude.
The announcement of the ranking was made on December 27, revealing the top 20 cities worldwide based on the number of tourist visits in a year.
In the following list, Paris, known as the romantic capital of France, secures the second place with a total of 19.10 million tourists. Meanwhile, London, the capital of England, follows closely in third place with 19.09 million visitors. Rounding out the top five are Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore in fourth and fifth place with 15.93 million and 14.67 million tourists, respectively.