Sunday, June 21, 2015


By Inside Retail Asia
Photos by Eva Fydrych

Asia dominates Global Destination Cities Index

Yuma Koshino, MBFW Tokyo (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Asian cities continue their domination of the annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index, making up half of the top 10 destinations for international travel.

Bangkok has retained its position at number two and is catching up with top-ranked city, London. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Hong Kong round off the top 10, taking seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th place respectively. Hong Kong is also the only city in Greater China that is among the top 10 most visited destinations.

Ranked 10th globally and fifth in Asia Pacific, Hong Kong is forecast to welcome 8.66 million international overnight visitors in 2015, a 3.5 per cent increase from 2014 with 8.37 million visitors. The city is also expected to see a 4.6 per cent growth in international overnight visitor spend, from US$7.11 billion in 2014 to US$7.44 billion in 2015, placing it seventh in the region and 13th globally.

Trendy Bangkok:

One of Bangkok's luxury hotels (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Bathroom with a view

Makeup-free in the morning :)

Our welcome cocktail, Bangkok

Waiting to speak with Yumi Katsura

FLYNOW, International Couture Fashion Week, Bangkok 

Street style at the Fashion Week (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Driven by insights into travel patterns, the fifth Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. More than just a travel tracker, the Index provides an understanding of how people move around the world and the importance of the world’s cities as homes, destinations and engines of growth.

London and Bangkok have topped the Index throughout the Index’s five year history. London is projected to receive 18.82 million international visitors in 2015, topping the chart again, slightly ahead of Bangkok with 18.24 million. Their rivalry is set to continue as Bangkok’s visitor numbers started to recover following civil unrest in 2014.

Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, chief economist and chair of the Academic Advisory Council at the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, said against a background of generally weak global economic growth and anemic pace of exports, a vibrant tourism sector is providing a powerful boost to income and job creation in Asia Pacific.

“As shown by the latest Index, Asian cities dominate among the leading destinations in the world in attracting international visitors arriving by air. Even more astonishing is that seven out of the world’s top 10 fastest growing destination cities are in Asia Pacific, which is a strong leading indicator of their continuing outstanding performance in the years to come.”

Photo courtesy of Inside Retail Asia (Click to enlarge)

Anna Yip, MasterCard’s head of Hong Kong & Macau, added: “Last year, MasterCard named Hong Kong one of our Priceless Cities, promising to enrich Hong Kong’s international influence as a true world-class destination. This year, it is encouraging to see that Hong Kong is once again taking a place in the global top 10 most visited destinations, which is a testament to the city’s enduring character as a top global destination for international travelers.”

In 2015, it is expected that nearly 383 million overnight trips will be made by international overnight visitors between the Index’s 132 cities. In combination with urbanisation – the UN has estimated that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050 – this represents a massive demand for goods and services. By forecasting the number of international travellers, the Global Destination Cities Index helps to highlight the infrastructure needed to meet the expectations of both locals and visitors.

Stylish Singapore:

Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

Marina Bay Sands shopping centre 

Little India

F1 fashion party at Ritz Carlton

F1 fashion party at Ritz Carlton

Amber Lounge, Singapore 

Delicious snacks at one of the numerous fashion parties

Red Dot Design Museum, Singapore 

Unique jewellery, Singapore (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Other changes in this year’s index:

  • The Asia/Pacific ranking of the top nine out of 10 destination cities are unchanged from 2014. But Osaka moved up to 10th rank from 11th, displacing Melbourne.
  • Seoul leads in Asia/Pacific in terms of international visitor spend, with an expected US$15.2 billion, followed by Singapore with US$14.7 billion and Bangkok with US$12.4 billion.
  • The top five feeder cities to Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in 2015 are all in Asia Pacific.
  • Hong Kong is projected to move ahead of Singapore and Tokyo to become the largest feeder city for Bangkok this year, accounting for around 1.5 million visitors with total expenditure hitting US$1 billion.

Funky Tokyo:

Tokyo (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine) Click to enlarge

Visiting Kamashima Chinami showroom

roomsLINK trade show

Comme des Garçons

Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

roomsLINK Tokyo 

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO 

Yuma KoshinoMBFW Tokyo (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

See you in Asia at the end of this year! :)

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