June 14, 2012
Taiwan, 14 June 2012 – Taipei continued its ascent among the Asia/Pacific cities listed as top global destinations in 2012, showing significant growth in the areas of both tourist numbers and cross-border spending, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released on June 11th, 2012. With nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the APAC region, the Taiwan capitol's performance in this year's survey represents a noteworthy achievement.
This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. 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 2012. This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.
The Index results revealed that Asia/Pacific exhibited the strongest growth in visitor numbers and international spending among all the regions of the world. The top ten Asia/Pacific destinations recorded a 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 15.3% surge in cross-border spending. To view the Index as an interactive map, please click here.
In 2012, Taipei displayed the second highest growth rates in APAC for both visitor numbers (15.1%) along with cross-border spending (20.5%). Visitor numbers to Taipei in 2012 were anticipated to hit 5.4 million, ranking the city at number 8, ahead of Tokyo and Jakarta.
The rise in visits also accompanied a sharp increase in international visitor spending, in which Taipei ranked fifth in APAC with an anticipated $10.5 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011, highlighting the city's considerable potential as a standout tourism hub in the region.
The MasterCard report attributed the increases to the impact of rising tourist visits from mainland China. Taiwan in 2011 opened tourism to individual Mainland visitors from certain Chinese cities; Mainland visitors previously could only tour the island in strictly controlled travel groups.
Taipei's Tourism Bureau has also worked to promote a wide range of local attractions to drive more tourism to the northern Taiwan city, such as lively dragon boat races in Dajia Riverside Park along with Taipei's numerous hot spring hotspots.
Taipei also dominated the Greater China region in terms of international visitor spending, coming in ahead of Hong Kong ($9.5 billion), Shanghai ($8.3 billion), and Beijing ($6.5 billion), respectively. That's despite those cities' significant advantages in terms of their high number of world-famous landmarks and attractions, such as the Forbidden City in China and the World Expo in Shanghai.
“The results of the latest MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index reveal that more travelers are selecting Taipei as their latest tourist destination," said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide. "This points to the city's strong appeal and competitiveness among other cities in Asia/Pacific, the most rapidly growing region in the world for tourism. With exceptional growth in both of these areas, Taipei is poised to receive global recognition as one of the world's leading cities.”
|Rank||Destination City||Market||Visitor Spend (US$ Billion)||% Growth 2011 & 2012||2012 Visitors (Millions)*|
|7||Hong Kong||(SAR) China||$7.3||$8.6||$9.5||9.5%||11.1|
*Excludes passengers returning to arrival country and includes visitors on non-stop flights only
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities. Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.
On any given flight there are visitors from the departure country, returning residents of the destination city after visiting the departure country, and a third group: non-residents connecting through the departure country to the destination city on their way to a second destination city. This group can be a low proportion of the passengers for typically non-hub cities, but very high for destination cities that are “hubs” such as Singapore, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.
On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included). An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.
A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.
This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).
Please note, the city rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.
Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is a business strategist and economist with 25 years of experience gained in over thirty countries. He was appointed Global Economic Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide in 2009. Prior to this role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, a position he held since 2001. As economic advisor, he chairs a MasterCard Knowledge Panel of leading economists, policy analysts, academics and business strategists for regular exchange and knowledge sharing. In 2007 he was appointed Advisor at Southern Capital Group, a private equity fund; and in 2008 he was appointed to the Investment Council of ICICI, India’s largest private bank.
Yuwa is also currently the HSBC Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and is a frequent speaker at numerous international high-profile conferences.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, 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 @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
Tagscross-border spending, international visitor arrivals, Taiwan, Insights
The Taiwan Capitol Also Led Greater China in Cross-Border Spending
Taipei Ranks no.1 in Greater China in International Visitor Spend
Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Spend (2012)
About Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Ph.D., Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard Worldwide
About MasterCard Worldwide