Mastercard Unveils Top Cities Where People Go to Play, Not Work

June 13, 2018 | By Ryan Erenhouse

Punta Cana, Cusco and Djerba lead Global Destination Cities Index: Play

PURCHASE, NY – June 13, 2018 – International travel continues to grow at an incredible rate, transforming local economies and enabling people to broaden their horizons—whether they travel for work or for play. Building on nearly a decade of insight into international travel trends, Mastercard today released Global Destination Cities Index: Play, a look at the international destinations with the highest concentration of visitors traveling for relaxation and leisure, not business.

Punta Cana leads the list of top ten cities where more than 90 percent of overnight visitor travel in 2017 was for purposes beyond business—such as vacation or family visits. The list includes several lesser-known destinations that cater to eco-tourists, history buffs, beach goers and adventure seekers.

With cultures uniquely their own but a common focus on relaxation and fun, the cities are:

    1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (99.9%)


    1. Cusco, Peru (98%)


    1. Djerba, Tunisia (97.7%)


    1. Riviera Maya, Mexico (97.5%)


    1. Palma de Mallorca, Spain (97.2%)


    1. Cancun, Mexico (96.8%)


    1. Bali, Indonesia (96.7%)


    1. Panama City, Panama (96.3%)


    1. Orlando, United States (94.1%)


    1. Phuket, Thailand (93%)

"Travel allows us to broaden our horizons by exploring new places, people and experiences,” said Francis Hondal, president of loyalty and managed services at Mastercard. “The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index: Play shows that special cities around the world are tapping into that trend and building a brand of fun, relaxation and enjoyment for like-minded travelers.”

Mastercard is focused on helping cardholders travel the world with peace of mind through seamless planning, conveniences and connectivity at their destination and worry-free acceptance at millions of locations around the globe. Compelling travel offerings and benefits help travelers every step of their journey. More information can be found at

Additional insights from the 2018 Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index will be released later this year. GDCIPlay_Top10

About the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts. Global Destination Cities Index: Play specifically looks at the cities that have the highest concentration of visitors traveling there for non-business purposes according to the International Visitor Survey results from National Tourism Boards. 

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau. 

Mastercard Communications Contact
Ryan Erenhouse, +1 914 249 3176

Ryan Erenhouse