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June 03, 2015

Since 2009, MasterCard’s Global Destinations Cities Index has been charting how the world’s major travel destinations are growing. In today's report, London returned to the top of the list (where it reigned in from 2009 to 2011 and again in 2014) outshining international competition from Bangkok, Dubai, Paris, and other leading metropolitan hubs.

London is not only considered the most interconnected city—a conclusion based on airport capacity and number of flight connections—but it is also projected to see the most foot traffic. MasterCard is forecasting that 18.82 million international visitors will head to England’s capital in 2015.

London’s visitors are also the world’s biggest spenders: cross-border spending is estimated to hit $20.23 billion this year. It’s 16 percent more than what international travelers are expected to spend in New York City ($17.27 billion) and Paris ($16.6 billion). 

Of course, London isn't the only city booming with tourists and business. This year's fastest growing city, according to the GDCI, is Colombo in Sri Lanka. 

Melanie Lieberman is the assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @MelanieTaryn.

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