MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) reveals the top preferred worldwide destinations, tourist expenses, number of nights, rate of growth, reason for travel, etc. This year, MasterCard has surveyed 200 leading and major cities around the world.

The big surprise of the study shows that Tel Aviv ranks first in Europe in the percentage of tourist spending growth, with an average annual increase of 14.89% in spending from 2009 to 2018, ahead of Barcelona (12.24%) and Madrid (10.48%), which come in at places 2 and 3 respectively. According to research in the past year, tourists spent only $2 billion in Tel Aviv. In the overall world ranking, as a percentage of tourist spending growth, Tel Aviv is ranked 14th.

In addition, Tel Aviv ranks 3rd in Europe with an average annual growth of about 9.1% in the amount of tourists from 2009 to 2018 after Bucharest (10.29%) and Lisbon (9.95%) and is ranked in 30th place globally.