Rabat - A new index report by MasterCard ranked Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, among top 10 destination cities in the Middle East and Africa by international overnight visitors and cross-border spending.
Rabat – A new index report by MasterCard ranked Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, among top 10 destination cities in the Middle East and Africa by international overnight visitors and cross-border spending.
Each year, MasterCard analyzes complex data from airlines and national tourist boards to predict the number of visitors to 132 major cities around the world and how much these travelers spend during their visits.
The MasterCard Global Destinations Index ranks Casablanca as theMiddle East & Africa’s tenth most popular city for international visitors.
The index expected Casablanca to end 2015 with under a million overnight visitors. The index estimated visitor spending in Morocco’s most important business hub at US$600 million.
Dubai is the top-ranked destination city in the Middle East and Africa and the fourth highest in the world.It is expected to attract 14.3 million international visitors in 2015, over three times more than the second-ranked Johannesburg.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi follow in third and fourth, with 4.3 million and 2.7 million respectively. Another South African city, Cape Town, ranked fifth, with close to 2 million international visitors.
Dubai is also in the highest ranked city in terms of visitor cross-border spending, estimated at US$11.7 billion in 2015, four and a half times more than the second-ranked Johannesburg.
The rest of the top ten destination cities in the region have between US$1 billion to US$2 billion in visitor spending.
Overall, Colombo in Sri Lanka is the fastest growing destination city among the 132 cities covered by the index. MasterCard said tourism there is clearly making a strong recovery after the end of Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war.
Three cities in Greater China and two in Japan are also in the top ten fastest growing cities, as are two in the Middle East. Many of these are coming off a very low base, such as Colombo and Chengdu, but some of them, such as Tokyo, are already a leading destination city in terms of number of international visitors, and yet are still showing impressive growth.
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