Top 10 Cities Where International Travelers Spend the Most
When it comes to travel, some tourists spare no expense. And some cities are well suited to attract them.
From the luxurious desert city of Dubai to the city of light and love, Paris, many international travelers today are looking to tick the crème de la crème of destinations off their bucket lists. In some cases, they’re seeking out the opulent experiences they missed out on when the pandemic brought the world to a halt.
In this graphic, we use the latest research by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to highlight the top 10 cities where international travelers spent the most in 2022.
Cities of Opulence
Last year, Dubai took top spot, followed by nearby Doha, Qatar.
|Rank||City||Country / Region||Income from International Tourists (2022)|
|#4||Macau||🇲🇴 Macau SAR||$15.58B|
|#8||New York||🇺🇸 U.S.||$12.45B|
Singapore and Macau represented East Asia, and New York was the sole city from the Americas on the list.
It’s worth noting that this list differs somewhat from overall tourism spending, which would include domestic travel spending as well. Large countries like the United States and China fare better in that ranking.
City Spotlight: Destinations Favored by Big Spenders
When you think of luxury travel, you think of five-star hotels, Michelin-star restaurants, luxury retail outlets, and many other premium experiences. And these cities offered their international travelers just that.
From the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building, to the desert excursions and yacht cruises, Dubai offers extravagant experiences for international visitors. The city’s reputation for tax-free, high-end shopping and its commitment to providing a luxurious experience has made it a top travel destination for luxury shoppers from around the world.
Location is another factor in the city’s success. Dubai sits at the natural crossroads between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and is home to one of the world’s busiest, well-connected airports.
International travelers spent close to $30 billion in the city in 2022.
London has long been a preferred location for the ultra-wealthy, and as a result, the city has an abundance of amenities for well-heeled travelers. For one, London is home to more five star hotels than any other city. As well, London offers ultra-wealthy travelers access to a wide range of high-end designer retailers, as well as world-famous museums, galleries, and landmarks.
Of course, the UK’s largest city also sees a high overall volume of tourists overall, which adds to the $16 billion global visitors spent in the city in 2022.
Known as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau’s gambling hub has been a magnet for international tourists for years. However, as the city began re-imagining its tourism strategies post-pandemic, it has grown stronger as an international tourist destination.
Outside tourists brought in $15.6 billion in 2022, and that number is only expected to multiply further over the next decade. This growth is being fueled by China and Hong Kong, which account for the lion’s share of visits.
Note: Although Macau is now a part of China, it remains a Special Administrative Region under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Transforming Travel Trends
The global travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic, which is good news for the many nations that economically rely on tourism.
As travel restrictions were lifted, many tourists flocked to remote destinations that were less traveled. However, this WTTC research is proof that the world’s iconic cities are making their way back onto tourist itineraries once again.
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
Evaluated on 19 different metrics, here’s the list of America’s best universities, led by 14 private schools.
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
The latest ranking of America’s best universities is here, perfectly timed for the approaching admissions season.
“Best” is of course subjective, and U.S. News and World Report has compiled 19 metrics on which they evaluated more than 400 national universities. Some of them include:
- Graduation rates & performance: A four-year rolling average of the proportion of each entering class earning a bachelor’s degree in six years or less. Performance is measured against predictions made by the publishers, and when beaten, the university gains a higher scoring.
- Peer assessment: A two-year weighted average of ratings from top academics—presidents, provosts and deans of admissions—on academic quality of peer institutions with which they are familiar.
- Financial resources: The average per student spend on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures in the 2021 fiscal year.
- Debt: A school’s average accumulated federal loan debt among borrowers only.
- Pell graduation rates & performance: the same calculation as stated above, but focused only on Pell Grant students, adjusted to give more credit to schools with larger Pell student proportions.
The website’s methodology section details how they sourced their data, the weights assigned to each metric, and their changes over the years.
From the hundreds assessed come the nearly 50 best universities that offer a variety of undergraduate majors, post-graduate programs, emphasize research, or award professional practice doctorates.
Which are the Best Universities in America?
At the top of the list, Princeton University is the best university in the country, known for its physics, economics, and international relations departments. Notably, it’s a rare Ivy league university that does not have a law, medical, or business school.
Here’s the full ranking of America’s best universities, along with annual tuition requirements.
|1||Princeton University||New Jersey||$59,710|
|7||Duke University||North Carolina||$66,172|
|9||Brown University||Rhode Island||$68,230|
|12||Columbia University||New York||$65,524|
|12||Cornell University||New York||$66,014|
|12||University of Chicago||Illinois||$65,619|
|18||Dartmouth College||New Hampshire||$65,511|
|20||University of Notre Dame||Indiana||$62,693|
Michigan, Ann Arbor
|22||Georgetown University||Washington, DC||$65,082|
|22||University of North|
Carolina at Chapel Hill
|North Carolina||$39,338 (out-state)
|24||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania||$63,829|
|24||University of Virginia||Virginia||$58,950 (out-state)
University, St. Louis
California, San Diego
|28||University of Florida||Florida||$28,658 (out-state)
|35||New York University||New York||$60,438|
|35||University of Illinois|
|New Jersey||$36,001 (out-state)
|40||University of Washington||Washington||$41,997 (out-state)
|43||The Ohio State University||Ohio||$36,722 (out-state)
|47||Texas A&M University||Texas||$40,607 (out-state)
|47||University of Georgia||Georgia||$30,220 (out-state)
|47||University of Rochester||New York||$64,384|
|47||Virginia Tech||Virginia||$36,090 (out-state)
|47||Wake Forest University||North Carolina||$64,758|
|53||Florida State University||Florida||$21,683 (out-state)
|53||William & Mary||Virginia||$48,841 (out-state)
MIT places second, and Harvard and Stanford tie for third. Yale rounds out the top five.
Private universities, including seven Ivy League colleges, dominate the top of the rankings. Meanwhile, the highest-ranked public schools are tied at 15th, both state schools in California.
For affordability, since the higher ranks are populated by private universities, there tends to be a broad correlation of better universities being more expensive. That said, the most expensive school in the top 50 ranks is actually the University of Southern California, tied at 28th, for $68,237/year.
As it happens, also tied at 28th, the University of Florida is the most affordable public school for in-state students ($6,381/year) and Florida State University tied at 53rd, is the most affordable for out-of-staters at $21,683/year.
However these costs are tuition-only, and don’t account for other necessary expenses: accommodation, food, and textbooks.
Best University versus Best “Fit”
Finding the best university for prospective students is more than just perusing a long ranking list.
Aside from the numerous schools present within each university—which can often be the best for specific majors—factors like location, proximity to family, campus culture, the non-academic pursuits (sports, extracurriculars, internships) are also taken into consideration.
In fact, research has found that just attaining a university degree improves future earnings potential and employability.
Furthermore, individual engagement at college (irrespective of the rank of the school in question) plays a far bigger role in learning and general well-being than simply attending a highly-ranked school.
However, for low income and minority students, attending a top-ranked school does improve future earnings considerably. For women, it also often results in delaying marriage and kids, which results in more work-hours and as a result, more pay.
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