Lonely Planet Writer

Get to the fastest growing tourist destinations before the crowds arrive

If you’re not satisfied with going to the same old tourist spots, it’s time to check out the fastest growing destinations and start planning so you can get there before the crowds.

There are many interesting restaurants in Shinsekai area with famous fugu (blowfish) and kushi-katsu cuisine, in Osaka Japan.
Osaka is the fastest growing tourist destination in the world. Image by totororo/Getty Images

According to new research, Japan’s third-largest city of Osaka has seen the greatest increase in international overnight visitors between 2009 and 2016. The stats were included in the annual Mastercard Destination Cities Index, which also determines the most visited cities in the world. The company notes that the destinations “continue to demonstrate the importance of watching Asia/Pacific and the Middle East for future destination leaders,” as cities from those regions dominate the top 10.

Osaka, Japan

Known for its dazzling neon lights and as an amazing spot for food-lovers, Osaka has seen a 24% growth in visitors since 2009.

China, Sichuan province, ancient town around Chengdu, old tea house. Image by Tuul & Bruno Morandi/Getty Images

Chengdu, China

After Osaka, Chengdu, China is the fastest growing destination, which is home to what is likely its best-known tourist attraction, the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where visitors can see the adorable animals that make China so famous.

Seema Malaka Temple on South Beira Lake by evening light, Colombo, Sri Lanka Image by Peter Stucking/Getty Images

Colombo, Sri Lanka

The next fastest growing destination is Colombo, Sri Lanka – a coastal city known for its beaches and colonial architecture.

Ornate tiled arches of Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Image by Spaces Images/Getty Images

Abu Dhabi, UAE

The glittering city in the desert, Abu Dhabi, in the UAE, is the fourth fastest growing destination.

Jakarta Bluehour pictured from Plaza Semanggi. Jakarta, Indonesia. Image by Abdul Azis/Getty Images

Jakarta, Indonesia

The fifth fastest growing destination is the bustling Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

Tokyo, Japan

The ever-popular Tokyo still manages to be the sixth fastest growing destination.

Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. Image by bminer/Getty Images

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, is luring more travellers with its fascinating history and incredible cuisine.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

One of the wealthiest cities in the world, Riyadh is drawing more and more tourists looking to explore.

Parque del Amor (Love Park) on El Malecón in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru, with a sculpture of embracing couple “Barque del Amor” by Víctor Delfín. Image by Greg Vaughn/Getty Images

Lima, Peru

The ninth fastest growing destination is Lima – the Peruvian city and only one in the top 10 not located in Asia or the Middle East.

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei presents travellers with an incredible fusion of influences and is seeing more and people. Tourists take note!