Mainland China and U.S. Continue to Drive Global Travel

July 22, 2019 | PURCHASE, NY | By Sean Hamel

Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index: Origins Reveals Mainland China Is a Huge Mover Among Markets with Most International Travellers

 Mainland Chinese are traveling overseas for business and leisure in greater numbers than ever before, and Mastercard’s newest edition of its Global Destination Cities Index continues to bear this out. Special report Global Destination Cities Index: Origins, released today, turns its lens on where international travelers originate. Mainland China has jumped from No. 7 in 2009 to No. 2 today, behind only the United States in terms of the number of travelers to overseas destinations.

Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index: Origins specifically ranks where the most people travel internationally from, and their top destinations.  Globally, the industry contributed a record US$8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs in 2018, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council – and insights like these can help shape local decision-making on how to best attract and serve travellers from around the world.

This year, the United States is the No. 1 origin market followed by mainland China, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. Travel from across Asia-Pacific also surged; the Republic of Korea and Taiwan, which were not in the top 10 a decade ago, rose to No. 6 and No. 10 respectively. The top origin markets are:

  1. United States of America
  2. Mainland China
  3. Germany
  4. United Kingdom
  5. France
  6. Republic of Korea
  7. Japan
  8. Canada
  9. Russian Federation
  10. Taiwan

Top Destination Cities by Origin

1 United States of America Cancun, Mexico Toronto, Canada London, U.K.
2 Mainland China Bangkok, Thailand Seoul, Republic of Korea Tokyo, Japan
3 Germany Palma de Mallorca, Spain Bolzano, Italy Tiroler Unterland, Austria
4 United Kingdom Palma de Mallorca, Spain Paris, France Dublin, Ireland
5 France London, England Marrakech, Morocco Barcelona, Spain
6 Republic of Korea Osaka, Japan Hokkaido, Japan Tokyo, Japan
7 Japan Taipei, Taiwan Seoul, Republic of Korea Bangkok, Thailand
8 Canada Washington D.C., U.S.A. Las Vegas, U.S.A. New York, U.S.A.
9 Russian Federation Antalya, Turkey Pattaya, Thailand Phuket, Thailand
10 Taiwan Tokyo, Japan Hokkaido, Japan Okinawa, Japan

Top Destinations by Origin

1 United States of America Mexico Canada Italy
2 Mainland China Thailand Japan United States of America
3 Germany Italy Spain Austria
4 United Kingdom Spain United States of America India
5 France Spain United States of America United Kingdom
6 Republic of Korea Japan Mainland China Vietnam
7 Japan United States of America Mainland China Taiwan
8 Canada United States of America Mexico India
9 Russian Federation Turkey Thailand Tunisia
10 Taiwan Japan Republic of Korea Thailand

 “Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index: Origins offers a new way for local officials and companies to see how travelers spend at destinations, providing them with better insights on how to plan and promote travel and tourism capabilities,” says Diana Robino, senior vice president, tourism partnerships for Mastercard. “Managed well, travel and tourism can be a catalyst for inclusive growth, benefiting both visitors and all communities in the destinations. Mastercard is committed to using its expertise and technology to help cities and destinations realize these opportunities.”

Mastercard acts as a key technology partner for the global travel and tourism industry, providing solutions that bundles data insights as our Tourism Insights platform, digital identity, payment and security solutions, visitor management and infrastructure consulting in order to solve for the needs of a destination. Simply put, Mastercard helps tourism partners better understand commerce patterns and deliver more connected and inclusive experiences.

Addressing the challenges of global tourism is too big a task for one organization, industry or government alone. Bringing together resources from across disciplines and sectors – public and private – produces new innovation and more sustainable solutions, made possible by a 360-degree view of the issues at hand.

Origins is a breakout report of the broader Global Destination Cities Index, with full rankings coming out later this year.


About the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index ranks 200 cities based on third-party research and proprietary analysis 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 2018, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts.

Top Destinations for Origins is obtained by summing together all the overnight visits of origin market residents to each destination covered by the overall Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index.

Mainland China Origin figures do not count travel numbers and expenditure in Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard 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 Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau

Sean Hamel