LONDON, July 9 (Xinhua) -- London topped the list as the destination of choice for international travelers with 18.7 million prospective visitors in 2014, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released on Wednesday.
London was followed by Bangkok, Paris, Singapore, Dubai, New York, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Seoul.
London was also in the top rank in terms of visitor spending, which was estimated to be 19.3 billion U.S. dollars, the report said.
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said: "With over 18 million visitors this year, there are also 18 million reasons why London is set to become the most visited city on the planet. Our city perfectly combines history, heritage, arts and culture, not to mention vast amounts of green space and major events that are the envy of the world."
Ann Cairns, president of international markets, MasterCard, said: "The index points to a continued strong demand and interest in air travel, both for business and personal travel. The recognition of this year's top international destinations reinforces the continued importance of cities as business, cultural and economic hubs."
Since 2009, the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities has ranked cities in terms of number of international visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.