June 4, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s commercial capital – Colombo leads the pack as the fastest growing city in terms of international, overnight visitor numbers in the annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index, a release said.
“Colombo’s ranking as the fastest growing city on MasterCard’s latest Global Destination Cities Index reflects the rising appeal of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination,” Vikas Varma, Executive Director of South Asia for MasterCard said.
“Having been in the market for over 25 years, MasterCard sees great potential in the island nation,”
“We will continue to showcase Sri Lanka as a premier tourist destination across our network, offering several exciting benefits and privileges for travelers.”
The rapid rise in tourism after the end of Sri Lanka’s long running civil war brought about Colombo’s double-digit cumulative annual growth rate over the last six years.
In addition, Asian cities continue to dominate of the Index, making up half of the top ten. Bangkok has retained its position at number two with 18.24 million international overnight visitors and is catching up with top-ranked city, London. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Hong Kong round off the top ten, taking seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth place respectively.
“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,” DrYuwa Hedrick-Wong, Chief Economist and Chair of the Academic Advisory Council at the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, said.
“As shown by MasterCard’s latest Global Destination Cities 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 ten fastest growing destination cities are in Asia Pacific, which is a strong leading indicator of their continuing outstanding performance in the years to come.”
Driven by insights into travel patterns, the Global Destinations CitiesIndex provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities from around the world.