Singapore Takes the Top Spot for International Visitor Spending
Singapore has overtaken Bangkok to take the top spot for international visitor spending in the Asia Pacific, MasterCard has reported.

The report highlighted the city-state's growing prominence as one of the world's "destination cities". MasterCard estimated that overnight visitors to Singapore will spend US$14.3 billion this year, which is a rise of 7.6 percent from 2013.

In contrast, Bangkok is expected to have a 17.7 percent drop in spending by overnight visitors to US$13 billion, on account of political unrest that has plagued Thailand since the latter part of 2013.

Matthew Driver, MasterCard's President for Southeast Asia, said that Singapore "offers a diverse mix of attractions to visitors in multiple segments, thanks to close collaboration between the government and industry.

Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor to MasterCard, said international visitors constitute a powerful transformational force that impacts businesses as well as culture. "Since 2009, we've seen cross-border travel and associated spending growing at faster rates than real world GDP," he said.

In terms of visitor numbers, Singapore ranks fourth globally with 12.47 million international overnight visitors expected this year.

London topped the list with an expected 18.69 million international overnight visitors, followed by Bangkok in second place and Paris in third.