Bangkok is world’s biggest magnet for foreigners – but not their money

your say October 02, 2018 01:00

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Kudos! For the third year in a row and four in the last five, Bangkok is the world’s most visited city with 20.05 million international visitors, eclipsing London (19.83 million) and Paris (17.44 million), according to figures compiled by Mastercard.

This is unbelievable, considering Bangkok is notorious for open sewer lines (aka canals), the world’s worst traffic, roaming stray dogs, tourist scams, litter-strewn public places, floods, and snail-paced security checks at airports. Yet it still managed to top the list for three consecutive years! Our capital must be doing something right. 

Also worth mentioning, Phuket checked in at 12th and Pattaya at 18th.

This blessing has nothing to do with luck, mind you, given that General Prayut has been in power for the last four years. He deserves a big hand of applause. 

Also worth noting is that Singapore ranked fifth on the most visited list, but – a big but – the city-state beat Bangkok on money raked in from international tourists. It ranked fourth (US$17.02 billion), compared to Bangkok’s fifth ($16.36 billion). What an irony! Dubai, by the way, tops the list with a whopping $29.70 billion of tourist revenue. (I wonder if it has something to do with that guy… Nah.)

Now the question is, should we strive for more tourists or more tourist spending? Go figure.

Somsak Pola

Samut Prakan