A recent study by MasterCard reveals that San Jose Costa Rica will be the sixth most visited city in Latin America in 2015, surpassing Rio de Janeiro, Bogota and Quito. The study reinforces the growing importance of knowledge, innovation and experience in the development of smart cities of the future.

Driven by research on travel patterns, the annual index and Global Destination Cities (GDCI, for short) provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities in the world. The index provides a deep understanding of how people mobilize around the world, and reveals the importance and the role of cities as engines of economic growth.

According to the study, the ten most visited cities in Latin America this year will be:

  1. Lima: 4.2 million visitors
  2. Mexico City: 2.82 million visitors
  3. Sao Paulo: 2.44 million visitors
  4. Punta Cana: 2.42 million visitors
  5. Buenos Aires: 2.18 million visitors
  6. San Jose: 1.51 million visitors
  7. Rio de Janeiro: 1.27 million visitors
  8. Bogotá: 1.1 million visitors
  9. Montevideo: 860.672 visitors
  10. Quito: 695.976, visitors

The study predicts that in 2015, travelers made 383 million international trips among 132 cities in the index, and spent $360 billion USD during their visits, representing a massive demand for goods, services.

“MasterCard understands the importance of cities around the world for both travelers and for those who live there,” said Ann Cairns, President of International Markets for MasterCard. “This year’s study helped us understand how interconnected are the world’s cities, and the important role they play in connecting to a greater number of people never seen before.”

The Annual Index of Global Destination Cities and MasterCard GDCI classifies 132 cities in the world in terms of number of visitors and the international border spending by these same visitors during the year.

This index study and accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.