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Five Indian cities in the top 100 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index

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The City of Kolkata has entered into the top 100 in the sixth annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. Five Indian cities have made it to the top 100 destination cities for 2016. Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Pune are the four other cities in the list. Kolkata ranks 62nd in the index.

About Kolkata :

Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. In 2011, the city had population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India.

  • In 2008 its gross domestic product was estimated to be US $104 billion, which was the third highest among Indian cities, behind Mumbai and Delhi.  As a growing city in a developing country, Kolkata has pollution, traffic congestion, poverty, overcrowding, and other problems.Top 100 Destination Cities 2016
  • In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading license in 1690, the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year.
  • In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule, and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement; it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics.
  • Following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation.
  • As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre, and literature.
  • Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods and freestyle intellectual exchanges. West Bengal’s share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which also hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India.
  • Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association.

About Destination Index 2016 :

The Index provides more than a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. It projects visitor volume and spend estimates for 2016, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world.

  • According to the study, Bangkok is projected to receive 21.47 million international overnight visitors in 2016, just ahead of second-ranked London. Forecasted international overnight visitors to the rest of the top 10 cities include:

Name of the city No of Visitors
Bangkok 21.47 million visitors
London 19.88 million visitors
Paris 18.03 million visitors
Dubai 15.27 million visitors
New York 12.75 million visitors
Singapore 12.11 million visitors
Kuala Lumpur 12.02 million visitors
Istanbul 11.95 million visitors
Tokyo 11.70 million visitors
Seoul 10.20 million visitors

Fastest Growing Destination Cities Ranking

The difference between the global top 10 and the fastest growing top 10 destination cities suggests that Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa have become increasingly important to the global economic landscape. Many cities measured on the Index have increasing growth trajectories, indicating the growing interest in both visiting and living in cities.

  • Osaka has shown the strongest growth in international visitors (24.15 percent) over the last seven years. Other cities that made the forecasted top 10 fastest growing cities include

Name of the city Growth(%)
Chengdu 20.14%
Abu Dhabi 19.81%
Colombo 19.57%
Tokyo 18.48%
Riyadh 16.45%
Taipei 14.53%
Xi’an 14.20%
Tehran 12.98%
Xiamen 12.93%

Mumbai and Chennai, that stand out as the fastest growing destination cities globally with at least 1 million overnight visitors in 2016 so far, ranked at number 14 and 19 respectively.

  • Mumbai further consolidated its position as the only Indian city to enter Asia Pacific’s top 10 destination cities in terms of international overnight visitors in 2016. Ranked at number 10, right after Shanghai, the city has received 4.86 million visitors along with a visitor spend of $3.6 billion in 2016 so far.
  • The study also gave visitor volume and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world.