Johannesburg will be Africa’s most visited city this year with an expected 2.5 million visitors this year and a growth rate of 5.5%. This is according to MasterCard’s third annual Global Destination Cities Index. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2013. This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.
Johannesburg ranked third overall in the top 10 destination cities in international visitor arrivals in the Middle East and Africa region and ranked as the top destination in Africa. The Middle East and Africa’s top five destination cities by international overnights visitors are Dubai (9.9 million), Riyadh (5.0 million), Johannesburg (2.5 million), Amman (2.4 million) and Lagos (2.2 million).
It ranked fourth in the Middle East and Africa Top five Destination Cities by International Overnight Visitor Spend, and the top destination in Africa with visitor cross-border spending forecast at $2.7 billion, with a growth of 3.4%. Top five destination cities in terms of cross-border visitors spend are: Dubai ($10.4 bil), Riyadh ($3.4 bil), Beirut (2.8 bil), Johannesburg ($2.7 bil) and Amman ($2.0 bil).
Johannesburg ranked 20 in the global Top 20 in Growth Rates of International Visitor Arrivals from 2009 to 2013, with a growth rate of 53.6%, and ranked as the top city on the African continent.
Cape Town and Durban in South Africa; Maputo and Beira in Mozambique; Nairobi, Kenya; and Kampala, Uganda were also covered by the survey but did not make it to the Top 10 lists mentioned.
The report showed that international travel is growing strongly. Of the 132 cities surveyed and their cross-border spending over the 2009 and 2013 period, international visitor arrivals grew almost twice as fast as world real GDP, and their cross-border spending grew over 2.3 times faster. It also showed destination cities in emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia are expanding the fastest in being connected to the rest of the world through having more flights to more cities, and more flights to cities where they are already connected. Click here to read the index.