Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, edged out Paris and London as the world’s most popular city to visit, according to a survey released on Wednesday. Bangkok was named in an annual ranking as the most-visited city for the fourth consecutive year, thanks to 22.8 million visitors in 2018. Paris and London were ranked second and third, each with about 19.1 million arrivals, trailed by Dubai with 15.9 million. Other highly placed Southeast Asian cities were Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, which came fifth and sixth in the ranking, by Mastercard, drawn up using third-party research, proprietary analysis and public data across 200 destination cities. New York, Istanbul, Tokyo and Antalya, Turkey, rounded out the top 10. The number of international visitors across the 200 cities has grown by 76 per cent in the past 10 years. Despite Bangkok’s longtime reign atop the list, the Thai tourism industry has faced headwinds, with arrivals dropping 1.03 per cent year-on-year in May before recovering to grow 0.89 per cent in June from a year earlier. Weaker Chinese economic growth and a boat accident last year led to a drop off in Chinese arrivals in Thailand in the first half of this year. The downturn in the number of visitors from China was partially offset by Indian arrivals. Thailand expects to welcome two million Indian tourists in 2019, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, told Reuters, adding that this was one year earlier than its target. In August, the government extended a waiver of a 2,000 baht (£54/$65) fee for visa-on-arrivals for tourists from 18 countries including those from China and India. A growing middle class and increasing wealth in populations and the rise of low-cost airlines will make travel more accessible, Minor Hotels Chief Executive Dilip Rajakrier said in an email. ‘Given only less than 10 per cent of China’s total population have passports today, the potential of the Chinese market will never fade,’ he said. Tourism accounts for about 12 per cent of Thailand’s economy.