KUALA LUMPUR: Seven appears to be our capital city’s lucky number, as it has been ranked the 7th-most visited city in the world by MasterCard’s 2018 Global Destination Cities Index.

It is the third year in a row that KL has occupied the league table’s seventh spot.

Malaysia’s largest city welcomed 12.58 million international travellers in 2017, and will see a growth of 7.1 per cent in arrivals this year.

Foreign leisure and business travellers spent an average of 5.5 nights and shelled out US$124 in the city in 2017.

KL came in 13th in terms of total visitor spend, with guests splashing out US$8.59 billion on lodgings, food, merchandise and recreational activities in the city.

The top three countries of origin for overnight visitors here in 2017 are China (comprising 16.8 per cent of foreign travellers), Thailand (11.8 per cent) and Indonesia (10.3 per cent).

MasterCard’s Cities Index, which expanded to 162 cities this year, ranks metropolises in terms of total international overnight visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.

Bangkok, London and Paris took the top three spots in this year’s ranking, which MasterCard says underscores the importance of robust infrastructure, good business and leisure attractions and strong local culture.

In terms of visitor spend, Dubai is tops, with international guests spending a whopping US$29.70 billion in 2017. The emirate is followed by Makkah (US$18.45 billion) and London (US$17.45 billion). Kuala Lumpur comes in at number 13.

Global top 10 destination cities

Rank City 2017 arrivals 2018 growth forecast

1). Bangkok – 20.05 million 9.6%

2). London – 19.83 million 3.0%

3). Paris – 17.44 million 2.9%

4). Dubai – 15.79 million 5.5%

5). Singapore – 13.91 million 4.0%

6). New York – 13.13 million 4.1%

7). Kuala Lumpur – 12.58 million 7.5%

8). Tokyo – 11.93 million 1.6%

9). Istanbul – 10.70 million 19.7%

10). Seoul – 9.54 million 6.1%

Source : NST