Sydney makes list of top 20 global destinations, by spend 
London tops list of destinations, by global spend and visitor numbers 
Melbourne in top ten Asia Pacific destinations, by spend 

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Sydney, July 10, 2014 – Tourists are expected to spend more than AU$6.4 billion (US$6.4 billion[1]) while visiting the nation’s biggest city in 2014, placing Sydney in the top 20 global destination cities by spend, according to the results of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.

For the third year in a row, London topped the global list for visitor spending, with the city projected to receive more than AU$20.2 billion (US$19 billion) from international guests – up by 13.4% from 2013.  The home of the world’s most popular royal family also nabbed the top spot for visitor numbers, with 18.7 million people expected to visit this year.

Although there are 3.1 million visitors expected to descend on Sydney this year, it missed out on a spot in the top 20 global cities by visitor numbers – suggesting that those who do visit, spend significantly on shopping, restaurants and tourist attractions.

While Sydney may have beat out Melbourne for a spot globally, the popular foodie destination still placed tenth in the top ten Asia Pacific cities by visitor spend. Moreover, spending is on the rise, with Melbourne visitors expected to increase spending by 4.3% since 2013, at a predicted AU$5 billion (US$4.7 billion).

Andrew Cartwright, MasterCard Australia Country Manager, said, “It’s great to see Sydney and Melbourne holding their own against some of the biggest cities in the world. Additionally, when business visitors and tourists come to our shores, they are maximising the opportunity to boost the local economy by spending on experiences and shopping”.

He added that the evolution of payment technology and global payment networks like MasterCard, are helping to make travel easier than ever before. “Whether travelling for work or play, and regardless of where they are, consumers have access to safe and secure payment methods,” Mr Cartwright said.

Now in its fourth year, the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index provides an overview and ranking of the most important global cities.

Regional Highlights

In other regional highlights Paris, Singapore and Dubai round out the top five global destination cities.  Which marks another interesting trend – the growth of Dubai.  Paris, at 1.8% and Singapore slightly higher at 3.1% are growing very slowly.  Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Dubai is in the clear number one spot and in a league of its own with U.S.$10.9 billion dollars in visitor spending and 11.95 million visitors.  If current growth rates continue, Dubai would overtake both Paris and Singapore within five years.

Lima is the top ranked destination city in Latin America with a projected 5.11 million international visitors in 2014.  But Punta Cana– also a Cashless Pioneer –took the top spot when looking at international visitor spend.

For the full report, please visit:


About the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2014.

Public data are used in deriving the international visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 132 destination cities, using custom-made algorithms; paying special attention to eliminate the hub effects for destination cities such as Singapore, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.


About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAU,  @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNewsjoin the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media Contact

Heather-Ann Cody, Weber Shandwick

Tel: +61 2 9994 44414


[1] The above figures were calculated at an exchange rate of AU 0.941 cents on 10/7/2014