Colombo is the fourth Fastest-Growing Destination City in the world according to the annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index released last week.
According to the Index Sri Lanka’s commercial hub has shown a growth of 19.57% over the last seven years.
The Japanese city of Osaka has shown the strongest growth in international visitors (24.15%) while China’s Chengdu and the capital of the United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi have been ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Japanese capital Tokyo came just behind Colombo with a visitor arrival growth of 18.48%.
Overall, Thailand’s capital Bangkok was the top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals whilst Dubai was the fourth. London was placed second followed by Paris.
Osaka was followed by Chengdu in China.
Neither Chengdu nor Colombo are in the regional top 10. MasterCard said Colombo has been experiencing a strong recovery in attracting international visitors after the ending of its civil war in 2009.
International visitor arrivals to Colombo steadily increased from 2009-2016 with a 19.6% compound annual rate of growth (CGAR) and in 2016 overnight visitor arrivals to the city are expected to reach 1.13 million. The visitors are expected to spend at least US$ 1 billion in the city.
In terms of expenses, visitors to Colombo spend 45% for accommodation and nearly 24% for food and beverages while nearly 18% spent on shopping.
The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2016.
The Index provides more than a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. It projects visitor volume and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world.
Thailand’s capital Bangkok is the top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals. According to the study, Bangkok is projected to receive 21.47 million international overnight visitors in 2016 ahead of London and Paris which have been placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.