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Cheers! Mastercard Unveils Top Destinations For Dining & Shopping

Home might be where the heart is, but travel opens the door to two of life’s biggest pleasures: dining and shopping. With Global Destination Cities Index: Indulgences, Mastercard takes a deep dive into where visitors spend the most on dining and shopping around the world.

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index ranks 162 cities in terms of total international overnight visitors and the amount spent by visitors in the destination cities in 2017. With Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index: Indulgences, we look at the amount spent within those cities on dining and shopping. The amount isn’t insignificant, nor is the impact those dollars have on cities’ local economies and the wallets of travelers who go there.

TOP CITIES FOR DINING (FOOD & BEVERAGES)

Whether it be Emirati Harees in Dubai, paella in Palma de Mallorca, pad Thai in Bangkok or champagne in Paris, people are eating—and spending—in these four cities more than any others. Cities such as Singapore and London are also in the top 10 for overall food and beverage spend, but it’s worth noting that travelers are spending a lower percentage of their travel budgets on food in those cities (12.9% and 17.6%), respectively.

Top Global Cities for Dining, Ranked by Dollars Spent
  City 2017 Expenditure on Food & Beverage (US$ billions) 2017 Expenditure (US$ billions) 2017 Share of Overall Expenditure Spent on Food & Beverage
1 Dubai, UAE $5.94 $29.70 20.0%
2 Palma de Mallorca, Spain $3.78 $11.96 31.6%
3 Bangkok, Thailand $3.37 $16.36 20.6%
4 Paris $3.20 $13.05 24.5%
5 New York $3.20 $16.10 19.9%
6 London $3.08 $17.45 17.6%
7 Santa Cruz de la Palma, Spain $2.44 $8.43 28.9%
8 Tokyo $2.41 $11.91 20.3%
9 Istanbul $2.23 $6.75 33.0%
10 Singapore $2.20 $17.02 12.9% 

 

Top Global Cities for Dining, Ranked by Share of Overall Expenditure Spent on Food & Beverage
  City 2017 Expenditure on Food & Beverage (US$ billions) 2017 Expenditure (US$ billions) 2017 Share of Overall Expenditure Spent on Food & Beverage
1 Dublin $.80 $2.22 36.0%
2 Stockholm, Sweden $.40 $1.19 34.0%
3 Bogota, Colombia $.23 $.68 33.6%
4* Sao Paulo $.42 $1.27 33.3%*
4* Rio de Janeiro $.26 $.79 33.3%*
5* Istanbul & Antalya, Turkey $2.23 $6.75 33.0%*
5* Antalya, Turkey $1.96 $5.94 33.0%*
6 Malaga, Spain $.84 $2.62 32.2%
7 Montreal $.56 $1.73 32.2%
8 Palma de Mallorca, Spain $3.78 $11.96 31.6%
9 Vienna $.62 $1.99 31.0%
10 Lisbon, Portugal $.64 $2.09 30.9%

* Data available at the national level only

TOP CITIES FOR SHOPPING

GDCI: Indulgences reveals that travelers are also spending big in Dubai and London when it comes to shopping, whether purchasing clothes, souvenirs or other goods. That said, visitors to London, Seoul and Johannesburg, in particular, might want to bring a bigger suitcase. International travelers to all three are spending at least 40 percent of their travel budgets on shopping.

Top Global Cities for Shopping, Ranked by Dollars Spent
  City 2017 Expenditure on Shopping (US$ billions) 2017 Expenditure (US$ billions) 2017 Share of Overall Expenditure Spent on Shopping
1 Dubai, UAE $8.91 $29.70 30.0%
2 London $8.54 $17.45 49.0%
3 Makkah, Saudi Arabia $5.76 $18.45 31.2%
4 Tokyo, Japan $5.13 $11.91 43.1%
5 Singapore, Singapore $4.70 $17.02 27.6%
6 Bangkok, Thailand $3.75 $16.36 22.9%
7 Seoul, Korea $3.42 $7.21 47.4%
8 New York $3.40 $16.10 21.1%
9 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $2.69 $8.59 31.3%
10 Paris $2.42 $13.05 18.5%

 

Top Global Cities for Dining, Ranked by Share of Overall Expenditure Spent on Shopping
  City 2017 Expenditure on Shopping (US$ billions) 2017 Expenditure (US$ billions) 2017 Share of Overall Expenditure Spent on Shopping
1 Bloemfontein, South Africa $.11 $.17 64.4%
2 Polokwane, South Africa $.46 $.76 60.1%
3 Warsaw, Poland $.42 $.70 59.8%
4 Copenhagen, Denmark $.91 $1.61 56.7%
5 Johannesburg, South Africa $1.10 $2.14 51.5%
6 Nelspruit, South Africa $.19 $.39 49.4%
7* London $8.54 $17.45 49.0%*
7* Edinburgh, United Kingdom $.61 $1.24 49.0%*
8 Chiba, Japan $.23 $.48 47.8%
9 Seoul, Korea $3.42 $7.21 47.4%
10 Osaka, Japan $2.26 $5.21 43.4%

* Data available at the national level only

There are eight cities on the top list for dining and seven cities on the top list for shopping that are also a part of the Mastercard Priceless Cities experiential travel platform where travelers from over 90 countries can access unique and unforgettable experiences in over 40 cities around the world.

“Whether at home or on the road, nothing brings people together like food. It’s an experience like no other, allowing people to connect with the culture, history and unique flavor of each place they visit,” says Monica Biagiotti, executive vice president of consumer marketing and sponsorships at Mastercard. “Experiences are at the heart of what travelers value, which is why we offer programs like Priceless Cities to allow travelers to dive into each city’s unique culture by sipping wines at Le Repaire de Bacchus within Printemps Haussmann in Paris or shopping the traditional souqs in Dubai with a guide.”

Mastercard is focused on helping cardholders travel the world with peace of mind through seamless planning, conveniences and connectivity at the destination and worry-free acceptance at millions of locations around the globe. Compelling travel offerings and benefits help travelers every step of their journey. More information can be found at mastercard.com.

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index and GDCI: Play Index, a breakout report focused on the top leisure destinations, were released earlier this year.

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 overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities in 2017, and gives international overnight visitor growth forecasts for 2018.

Public data is used in deriving the international overnight visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 162 destination cities.

Forecasts are based upon the weighted average of the national level tourism forecasts and the actual 2018 monthly data at the destination level, which is available to the latest month before release.

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