The impact of travel and tourism greatly affects the economic growth of a region. Here are some of the smaller destination cities that have had the fastest tourism growth from 2009 to 2013, according to the Mastercard Global Destination Index. These places are definitely the places to watch out for in 2014.
1. Chengdu, China
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Home to its spicy Sichuan cuisine, Chengdu saw a 285 percent growth in tourism. Even though it is first as an up-and-coming tourist destination, it ranks 60th compared to the rest of the cities overall in 2013.
2. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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The Kingdom Center that you see in the background is the third tallest building in the world that has a hole in it. Riyadh saw a 219.4 percent growth and ranked 19th overall in 2013.
3. Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Come here to enjoy the blend of the old traditions with the modern city as the backdrop. Colombo saw a 122.9 percent growth and ranked 76 overall in 2013.
4. Mumbai, India
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The world’s most expensive residential house, the Antilia, sits on one of the world’s most expensive residential streets . Besides that, the Gateway of India is also here. Mumbai saw a 113.3 percent growth rate and ranked 29th overall in 2013.
5. Nanjing, China
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As one of China’s main economic, industrial, and education centers, Nanjing yielded a 97.1 percent increase in growth, and ranked 56th overall in 2013.
6. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has 82 white domes and can accommodate more than 40,000 worshipers. Abu Dhabi arrived at a 96.8 percent increase and ranked 61st overall in 2013.
7. Jakarta, Indonesia
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Jakarta is the most populated city in Southeast Asia, with over 9 million people. Jakarta achieved 94.1 percent growth and ranked 77th overall in 2013.
8. Taipei, Taiwan
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The Taipei 101 tower is supposed to represent a bamboo stick connecting the sky to Earth. Taipei saw an 82.7 percent growth and ranked 18th overall in 2013.
9. Lima, Peru
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Located on the Peruvian Coastal Plain, Lima is the second largest desert town in the world. Lima saw an increase of 79.7 percent and ranked 57th overall.
10. Manila, Philippines
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The Philippines is 80 percent Roman Catholic and is the only Christian nation in Asia. Some of its most popular attractions are the religious sites, including the Matale Church, Manila Cathedral, and the Quiapo Church. Manila rose 72.9 percent in growth, and ranked 53rd overall.
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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times. Have you had a different experience visiting this region? Share it with us in the comments section!