Since 2009, worldwide travel and spending by overnight visitors to cities have grown faster than real GDP.
Visitor expenditure in Singapore grew to US$15.69 billion (S$21.2 billion) last year from US$13.07 billion the year before, pushing the city up a rank to fourth place globally in terms of global visitor spending.
The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2017 ranked Dubai as the city with the highest worldwide overnight visitor spend in the world - a stunning $28.50 billion in 2016.
Dubai ranked top on the list of countries attracting overnight worldwide visitors in the MEA region with 14.87 million visitors in 2016 up from 14.2m visitors in 2015, according to the index.
London comes in second place in the most visited cities in the world.
With a record 13.11 million worldwide visitors a year ago, representing 8.8 per cent growth, Singapore remains a top global destination for both leisure and business, the credit card giant's report said. It narrowly beat out Dubai, which saw 14.87 million overnight visitors.
In the leading group of ten included Dubai, Singapore, new York, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Istanbul.
Move over, London and Paris. In Latin America, Punta Cana is the most popular among global travellers, followed closely by Mexico City and then Lima. "Dubai was followed by Johannesburg [in the MEA region] with only 4.57m visitors", the Index noted.
Singapore inched past NY for the first time in three years, said MasterCard. Kuala Lumpur has the greatest percentage of visitors there on vacation, at 92.2%.
Across the top 20 destination cities, the majority of travel is for leisure, except in Shanghai where almost half of visitors are travelling on business.