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Ranked: Top 10 Cities Where International Travelers Spend the Most

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Top Cities for International Travelers Spending

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.

RankCityCountry / RegionIncome from International Tourists (2022)
#1Dubai🇦🇪 UAE$29.42B
#2Doha🇶🇦 Qatar$16.79B
#3London🇬🇧 UK$16.07B
#4Macau🇲🇴 Macau SAR$15.58B
#5Amsterdam🇳🇱 Netherlands$13.59B
#6Istanbul🇹🇷 Türkiye$13.13B
#7Barcelona🇪🇸 Spain$12.73B
#8New York🇺🇸 U.S.$12.45B
#9Singapore🇸🇬 Singapore$10.97B
#10Paris🇫🇷 France$9.76B

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.

#1. Dubai

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.

#3. London

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.

#4. Macau

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.

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Markets

Mapped: The Growth in House Prices by Country

Global house prices were resilient in 2022, rising 6%. We compare nominal and real price growth by country as interest rates surged.

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The Growth in House Prices by Country

Mapped: The Growth in House Prices by Country

This was originally posted on Advisor Channel. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on financial markets that help advisors and their clients.

Global housing prices rose an average of 6% annually, between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022.

In real terms that take inflation into account, prices actually fell 2% for the first decline in 12 years. Despite a surge in interest rates and mortgage costs, housing markets were noticeably stable. Real prices remain 7% above pre-pandemic levels.

In this graphic, we show the change in residential property prices with data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The Growth in House Prices, Ranked

The following dataset from the BIS covers nominal and real house price growth across 58 countries and regions as of the fourth quarter of 2022:

Price Growth
Rank
Country /
Region
Nominal Year-over-Year
Change (%)
Real Year-over-Year
Change (%)
1🇹🇷 Türkiye167.951.0
2🇷🇸 Serbia23.17.0
3🇷🇺 Russia23.19.7
4🇲🇰 North Macedonia20.61.0
5🇮🇸 Iceland20.39.9
6🇭🇷 Croatia17.33.6
7🇪🇪 Estonia16.9-3.0
8🇮🇱 Israel16.811.0
9🇭🇺 Hungary16.5-5.1
10🇱🇹 Lithuania16.0-5.5
11🇸🇮 Slovenia15.44.2
12🇧🇬 Bulgaria13.4-3.2
13🇬🇷 Greece12.23.7
14🇵🇹 Portugal11.31.3
15🇬🇧 United Kingdom10.0-0.7
16🇸🇰 Slovak Republic9.7-4.8
17
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates
9.62.9
18🇵🇱 Poland9.3-6.9
19🇱🇻 Latvia9.1-10.2
20🇸🇬 Singapore8.61.9
21🇮🇪 Ireland8.6-0.2
22🇨🇱 Chile8.2-3.0
23🇯🇵 Japan7.93.9
24🇲🇽 Mexico7.9-0.1
25🇵🇭 Philippines7.7-0.2
26🇺🇸 United States7.10.0
27🇨🇿 Czechia6.9-7.6
28🇷🇴 Romania6.7-7.5
29🇲🇹 Malta6.3-0.7
30🇨🇾 Cyprus6.3-2.9
31🇨🇴 Colombia6.3-5.6
32🇱🇺 Luxembourg5.6-0.5
33🇪🇸 Spain5.5-1.1
34🇨🇭 Switzerland5.42.4
35🇳🇱 Netherlands5.4-5.3
36🇦🇹 Austria5.2-4.8
37🇫🇷 France4.8-1.2
38🇧🇪 Belgium4.7-5.7
39🇹🇭 Thailand4.7-1.1
40🇿🇦 South Africa3.1-4.0
41🇮🇳 India2.8-3.1
42🇮🇹 Italy2.8-8.0
43🇳🇴 Norway2.6-3.8
44🇮🇩 Indonesia2.0-3.4
45🇵🇪 Peru1.5-6.3
46🇲🇾 Malaysia1.2-2.6
47🇰🇷 South Korea-0.1-5.0
48🇲🇦 Morocco-0.1-7.7
49🇧🇷 Brazil-0.1-5.8
50🇫🇮 Finland-2.3-10.2
51🇩🇰 Denmark-2.4-10.6
52🇦🇺 Australia-3.2-10.2
53🇩🇪 Germany-3.6-12.1
54🇸🇪 Sweden-3.7-13.7
55🇨🇳 China-3.7-5.4
56🇨🇦 Canada-3.8-9.8
57🇳🇿 New Zealand-10.4-16.5
58🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR-13.5-15.1

Türkiye’s property prices jumped the highest globally, at nearly 168% amid soaring inflation.

Real estate demand has increased alongside declining interest rates. The government drastically cut interest rates from 19% in late 2021 to 8.5% to support a weakening economy.

Many European countries saw some of the highest price growth in nominal terms. A strong labor market and low interest rates pushed up prices, even as mortgage rates broadly doubled across the continent. For real price growth, most countries were in negative territory—notably Sweden, Germany, and Denmark.

Nominal U.S. housing prices grew just over 7%, while real price growth halted to 0%. Prices have remained elevated given the stubbornly low supply of inventory. In fact, residential prices remain 45% above pre-pandemic levels.

How Do Interest Rates Impact Property Markets?

Global house prices boomed during the pandemic as central banks cut interest rates to prop up economies.

Now, rates have returned to levels last seen before the Global Financial Crisis. On average, rates have increased four percentage points in many major economies. Roughly three-quarters of the countries in the BIS dataset witnessed negative year-over-year real house price growth as of the fourth quarter of 2022.

Interest rates have a large impact on property prices. Cross-country evidence shows that for every one percentage point increase in real interest rates, the growth rate of housing prices tends to fall by about two percentage points.

When Will Housing Prices Fall?

The rise in U.S. interest rates has been counteracted by homeowners being reluctant to sell so they can keep their low mortgage rates. As a result, it is keeping inventory low and prices high. Homeowners can’t sell and keep their low mortgage rates unless they meet strict conditions on a new property.

Additionally, several other factors impact price dynamics. Construction costs, income growth, labor shortages, and population growth all play a role.

With a strong labor market continuing through 2023, stable incomes may help stave off prices from falling. On the other hand, buyers with floating-rate mortgages face steeper costs and may be unable to afford new rates. This could increase housing supply in the market, potentially leading to lower prices.

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