Five Most Spend-Heavy Cities in Asia Pacific

The cities accounted for a quarter of travel spending in the region last year.

September 09, 2019

HONG KONG—About 22% of all international travel arrivals are in Asia Pacific, and a quarter of travel spends in the region go to just five destination cities, according to Mastercard’s Asia Pacific Destinations Index (APDI).

Inside Retail Hong Kong reports that out of 161 cities and regional centers, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo welcomed more than one-fifth of all overnight visitors last year. The article says that the growth is credited to outbound travel from mainland China.

Last year, 342.2 million business and leisure trips took place in Asia Pacific, and travel spending has more than doubled since 2009, now at $281.1 billion. As tourism increases, the hope is that resources from private and public sectors will help partners understand commerce patterns, consumer trends and ideal experiences.

“With the top 20 cities attracting nearly half (49.8%) of all international overnight arrivals to the 161 destinations ranked in the APDI, it is important to understand not only how continuously rising travel numbers impact cities and destinations for the better, but also the challenges they pose,” said Rupert Naylor, Mastercard’s senior VP data & services Asia Pacific. “This [knowledge] equips governments, merchants and the global travel industry with the information and insights they need to better serve their residents and visitors.”

Next year’s NACS Convenience Summit Asia will be in Bangkok, Thailand, one of the top five cities whose economies are soaring thanks in part to international travel. Retailers from around the world are facing greater competition as emerging markets in Asia export their innovations to Europe, the United States and beyond. We invite you to join us March 3-5, 2020, to hear, see and learn how these markets are changing the way today’s global consumers shop—and are, ultimately, redefining the retail industry.