The 10 most popular ‘leisure-only’ travel destinations for those who just want to escape from work

Lesser-known locations have made the list among all-time favourites.
Tourist Destinations

Travelling at its very core entails adventure, immersion in unfamiliar cultures and igniting the spirit of discovery, all while having a good time and unbounded by the stresses of work.

With that, Mastercard released 2018 Global Destination Cities Index: Play, which offers a look at destinations around the world with the highest concentration of visitors travelling there simply for leisure.

The cities were ranked according to the percentage of overnight visitor travel in 2017 for purposes beyond business such as vacation or family visits.

From eco-tourists and history enthusiasts to beach-goers and adventure seekers, this year’s list includes several lesser-known locations among all-time favourites that appeal to all kinds of vacationers.

Here are the top 10 most popular holiday destinations that are “all play and no work”.

10. Phuket, Thailand – 93%

Tourism Authority of Thailand

9. Orlando, United States – 94.1%

Tourism Today

8. Panama City, Panama – 96.3%


7. Bali, Indonesia – 96.7%


6. Cancun, Mexico – 96.8%


5. Palma de Mallorca, Spain – 97.2%

Tourist Destinations

4. Riviera Maya, Mexico – 97.5%

Tourist Destinations

3. Djerba, Tunisia – 97.7%


2. Cusco, Peru – 98%


1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – 99.9%

Tourist Destinations