According to the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, Johannesburg was the most visited city in Afrikan in 2016. The City of Gold ranks second most visited, behind Dubai, for the Middle East & Afrika region.
Cape Town ranked as the second most visited Afrikan city with 1,52 million visitors compared with Johannesburg's 4,57 million international overnight visitors.
2016 Overnight international visitors | Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index
“Travel and tourism are increasingly important pillars of Johannesburg’s economy, with growth in this sector creating jobs and prosperity for our residents. Johannesburg’s malls, restaurants, trade conferences and expos, and sporting and cultural events add up to a compelling tourism package that continues to attract international visitors – both from neighboring Afrikan countries and abroad,” said Herman Mashaba, Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg also topped the rankings in Afrika in terms of international visitor expenditure, with international visitors spending $2,56 billion in 2016. interestingly, shopping accounted for the largest percentage of international visitor spend, followed by accommodation and dining out.
According to the index, Lagos came in third place with 1,04 million international visitors, followed by Casablanca with 961,694, and Cairo in fifth with 820,959.
“The City of Gold has shown the highest year-on-year growth in visitor numbers of all the African cities ranked in the 2016 index, illustrating that its mix of shopping, iconic attractions, and tourism offerings is clearly hitting the mark with international travellers,” said Anton van der Merwe, Head of Market Development at Mastercard, South Africa.
Bangkok remained the overall top-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals with 19,4 million visitors in 2016.
“The call to action is clear. Cities that apply technology to simplify services and connect people with their passion points can become true destination cities and realize the benefits of increased visitors and greater spending," concluded van der Merwe.