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According to the survey results released on 4 December, Johannesburg attracted 4.05 million international overnight visitors in 2017. Close on its heels, Marrakech in Morocco is the second most popular African destination city, welcoming 3.93 million international overnight visitors last year.
Polokwane came in at third with 1.88 million, beating Cape Town which attracted 1.73 million visitors, and Djerba in Tunisia with 1.65 million rounded out the top five African cities ranked in the Index.
Mastercard said Johannesburg also recorded the highest international overnight visitor expenditure among African cities with travellers spending U.S.$2.14 billion in 2017, well ahead of Marrakech which stood at U.S.$1.64 billion.
On average, international visitors stayed 10.9 nights and spent U.S.$48 per day in Johannesburg, with shopping accounting for more than 50% of their total spend.
The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index ranks the world’s top 162 destination cities in terms of visitor volume and spend for the 2017 calendar year. It also provides insight on the fastest growing destination cities, and a deeper understanding of why people travel and how they spend around the world.