Invest News DetailSabah - US payment company MasterCard’s Index of Global Destination Cities 2012 has placed Turkey’s Istanbul among the top 5 tourist hotspots worldwide with an expected 11.6 million of international arrivals in 2012. Turkey’s megacity welcomed 7.5 million tourists during January-November 2011, according to the 132-city index. The index predicts a 14.7 percent increase in the historic city’s visitors this year, making Istanbul one of the most popular destinations in Europe and the world. MasterCard study describes Istanbul as a “shining star” among the surveyed tourism centers, leaving behind Hong Kong, Madrid, Dubai, Roma, New York and Shanghai. The city will also see tourism revenue of USD 10.6 billion in 2012, up 20.7 percent from last year, making to the top spot in Europe in terms of increase rate. “Istanbul is a unique city with a lot of potential. The city is foreseen to rise even higher in the index,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, one of the economic advisers of MasterCard Worldwide about survey’s findings. Analyzing the world’s popular tourism destinations by visitor numbers and revenues, the index also evaluates the status of each city as a node of the global economy by assessing its connectivity with other destinations.