Which cities are the most popular destinations in Africa?
MasterCard recently released its third annual Global Destination Cities Index. The Index reveals that Johannesburg and Lagos are Africa’s most popular destinations with over 4.6 million visitors expected to visit both cities this year.
Johannesburg comes out tops on the continent both in total visits and international visitor spending. Between 2009 and 2013, the city’s number of international visitors increased by 53.6% skyrocketing it into the Index’s top 20 fastest growing cities globally. During 2013, about US$2.7 billion will be injected into the South African economy thanks to Johannesburg’s international visitors.
MasterCard Global Index of Destination Cities 2013 – African Cities
The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are ranked based on the following criteria:
- The number of their total international visitor arrivals
- The cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities
Thirteen African cities were included in the Index including Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Cairo, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Dakar, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo and Tunis.
The top three cities from which visitors to Johannesburg originate are London (299,000 people), Frankfurt (187,000 people), and Dubai (157,000 people)
According to Philip Panaino, Division President of MasterCard, South Africa, “The Index also reveals the cities that people from Johannesburg are travelling to, and it was found that in most cases they are choosing African destinations.” “Four of the top five outbound destinations for Johannesburg travellers are within Africa. Maputo and Harare top the list; London comes in third, followed by Lagos and Windhoek.”
Lagos has witnessed considerable growth in the past year following a slump in visits in 2010 and 2011. During 2010 and 2011, Lagos suffered a severe contraction, with visitor numbers declining by about 20 percent each year, before recovering to around 6.9 percent growth in 2012.
To learn more about the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, download the report here.