Five Indian cities have been featured in the list of 100 cities, where Mumbai has been ranked 27, Chennai at 30, Delhi at 48, Kolkata at 62 and Pune at 91.
The sixth edition of the Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of 132 most visited cities around the world by projecting ‘visitor volume’ and ‘spend estimates’ for the particular calendar year. This year’s index has ranked the nation’s financial capital the most visited city among all Indian cities. Meanwhile, Bangkok was ranked first based on international overnight visitor arrivals ahead of second ranked London.
The rankings are aimed at giving an understanding of how people travel and spend money around the world. As cross-border travel and spending continue to grow at a faster pace than world GDP, the world’s cities continue to be engines of broader economic growth.
However, the Bengal government has given a special attention to tourism as a way of revenue generation. Several steps have already been taken up to woo overseas tourists. “It is really heart warming news. The City of Joy always welcomes its tourists. It can take them through the lanes of history, relics of olden times,” said state Tourism Minister Goutam Deb.
The state government has initiated a ‘Teresa Tour’ project, eyeing overseas tourists’ volume in Kolkata, and will formulate a homestay policy soon for better accommodation of foreign tourists.
The Bengal hills – comprising Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Pedong, Mirik, Sandakphu, Siliguri, Samsing, Dooars Valley, Lava and many others – have proven to be unforgettable for foreigners. “The Bengal government under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee provides the best facilities for tourists across the world. Being the capital city of the state, foreigners love to stay in Kolkata,” Deb added.
Apart from the Indian cities, the 100-city list ranks some of the astonishing attractive cities around the planet. The cities that topped the chart were Bangkok, London, Paris, Dubai, New York, Istanbul, Milan, Budapest, Shanghai and Madrid. The national capital Delhi was ranked above Brazil’s Sao Paulo (49th rank) and Switzerland’s Zurich (50th rank).
The index makers analysed that Indian cities in the ranking, including Kolkata, are among the Fastest Growing Destination Cities (FGDC) globally. These cities had at least one million overnight visitors in 2016.
Mumbai further consolidated its position as the only Indian city to enter Asia Pacific’s Top 10 Destination Cities in terms of International Overnight Visitors in 2016. Ranked at number 10 right after Shanghai, the city boasts of 4.86 million visitors and has a visitor spending of $3.6 billion for the year 2016.
“With an evolving business landscape and thriving tourist destinations, India has been witnessing a high influx of overseas travellers for both business and other purposes. It is interesting to see five Indian cities making it to the Top 100 destination cities globally for 2016. This trend also projects a huge potential for Indian cities to develop as global hubs for investment in terms of business and tourism alike,” said Parag Bhatnagar, vice-president, Marketing, South Asia, MasterCard.
Explaining the elaborate process of ranking, the organisation stated that the ranks were given to cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors. Public data was used in deriving the international overnight visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 132 destination cities, using custom-made algorithms.