S/Africa’s Johannesburg is Africa’s most popular destination - Index
APA-Johannesburg (South Africa) - The South African city of Johannesburg has emerged as Africa’s most popular destination in 2016‚ followed by Cape Town‚ according to the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index on Thursday.
According to the survey, the commercial city of Johannesburg welcomed 4.57 million international overnight visitors in 2016 – a 24 percent increase on the previous year’s 3.69 million visitors.
Another African city, Cape Town, rose from third place in 2015 to become the second most popular African destination city in 2016 with 1.52 million visitors, it added.
Third was Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos (1.04 million)‚ followed by Morocco’s Casablanca (961 694)‚ and Egypt’s Cairo (820 959) rounding out the top five African cities‚ while the South African Indian Ocean coastal city of Durban remained in sixth place for attracting 758,057 international overnight visitors, the index said.
Johannesburg also topped the rankings in Africa in terms of international visitor expenditure‚ with travellers spending US$2.56 billion in 2016, according to the index.
Shopping accounted for the largest percentage of visitor spend‚ followed by accommodation and dining out.
“The City of Gold (Johannesburg) has shown the highest year-on-year growth in visitor numbers of all the African cities ranked in the 2016 index‚ illustrating that its mix of shopping‚ iconic attractions and tourism offerings is clearly hitting the mark with international travellers‚” said Anton van der Merwe‚ head of market development at MasterCard South Africa.
He said Johannesburg reported a four-percent increase in international expenditure from 2015.
The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks the world’s top 132 destination cities in terms of visitor volume and spend for the 2016 calendar year.
It also provides insight on the fastest growing destination cities‚ and a deeper understanding of why people travel and how they spend around the world.
The 13 African cities ranked in the Index are Johannesburg‚ Cape Town‚ Lagos‚ Casablanca‚ Cairo‚ Durban‚ Accra‚ Dakar‚ Entebbe‚ Tunis‚ Nairobi‚ Maputo and Beira.
Overall‚ Bangkok remained the top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals with 19.4 million visitors in 2016‚ followed by London (19.06 million)‚ Paris (15.45 million)‚ Dubai
(14.87 million) and Singapore (13.11 million).
From a spending perspective‚ Dubai tops the ranks with the highest international overnight visitor spend‚ amounting to US$28.5 billion in 2016, with New York City (US$17.02 billion)‚ London (US$16.09 billion)‚ Singapore (US$15.69 billion) and Bangkok (US$14.8 billion) rounding out the top five in the world.