2018 was a big year in regard to travel. In general, global inbound arrivals increased by 5 percent. International travel is important to urban economies and enriches the lives of tourists and residents alike. With more people traveling, destinations must raise the bar in regard to creating an experience that’s authentic and memorable for the right reasons. If you didn’t get the chance to fly private to one of the following hot destinations in 2018, consider adding them to your list of 2019 places to visit.
The Most Popular Travel Destinations in 2018
With more than 20 million overnight visitors, Bangkok tops the list as the most popular destination for international travelers. The area is a mix of contrasts at every turn with historical sites, modern attractions and vibrant street life. Check out the Grand Palace during your visit, a sprawling complex that once housed the Thai royal family.
London, England, United Kingdom
London welcomed nearly 20 million overnight visitors. With such a large diversity of attractions to see in the “The Smoke,” many tourists are repeat guests. Wander the spectacular halls of Westminster Abbey before watching a world-class stage performance on the West End.
Paris’s 17-plus million overnight visitors make the destination a stalwart on top 10 travel lists. The “City of Light” offers architectural eye candy and inimitable class. Chic hotels, Michelin-star-worthy restaurants, and high-end shopping make it simple to see how it’s second to Dubai in regard to dollars spent per day by tourists. During your peek into Paris, sip espresso at an upscale boutique café before wandering through the Brands Boulevards designer district.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With visitor rates steadily growing at just over 7 percent annually, Dubai had nearly 16 million overnight visitors in 2018. The cutting-edge city offers an enviable excursion opportunity as it continues to outdo itself. Within the last 24 months, it broke its own record for the tallest hotel in the world and successfully tested a drone taxi. With the gilded opportunities that abound, tourists spend more than $500 a day during their visits on average.
A sovereign island city-state just south of Malaysia, Singapore is known for its history, cleanliness, and friendliness. Nearly 14 million tourists visited the city thanks to its tax-free shopping policies for travelers, beautiful accommodations and popular food markets, or hawkers, serving up affordable, delicious meals. Sleek downtown buildings contrast tidily with nearby centuries-old architecture, creating an exciting old-meets-new vibe.
New York City, New York
With just more than 13 million overnight visitors, New York City is the most-visited city in the United States. 2018 was a landmark year of international visitors. The Big Apple is what international tourists envision when they think of the American dream. Domestic travelers go to soak in the energy. See masterpieces at MOMA. Watch amazing talent at the MET and on Broadway. With 5th Avenue, Central Park, Chinatown, endless galleries and hundreds of attractions, it’s simple to make your own Manhattan memories.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A rare destination with defining contrasts, Kuala Lumpur is a playground with steamy beaches, lush rainforests, state-of-the-art innovations, and a glamorous tropical vibe. In 2018, the destination welcomed more than 12.5 million overnight guests who spent nearly a week (on average) in the Malaysian capital. Euromonitor International expects the city to see more than 20 million international travelers by 2025. Get a great view of cultural landmarks from the Petronas Towers. Check out the unique items for sale in the city center before heading out on a hike with selfie-worthy vistas.