For every Miami resident more than 16 tourists arrive each year, making it the city with the highest visitor-to-local ratio in the world.
The Florida city came out top in new data – only 500,000 residents call it home, but 8.1 million tourists visit each year. Las Vegas ranked second with a larger population (700,000) but fewer annual visitors (9.9 million), followed by Dubai, where you'll find 588 visitors for every 100 residents.
In Edinburgh, annual tourists outnumber locals by more than four to one. It has a population of half a million and welcomes 2.4 million visitors every year, making it the most tourist-heavy metropolis in Europe compared to the number of its inhabitants, and fourth in the world.
American cities dominate, with two more in the top ten: San Francisco and Washington DC. Elsewhere in Europe, Vienna comes eighth with a tourist-to-local ratio of 3.2 to one.
In London there are more than twice as many visitors than residents (the population is 9.2 million and it welcomes 20.7 million tourists a year). Birmingham isn't far behind, with 1.32 arrivals for every local.
The top 20 cities where tourists outnumber locals:
Miami - 16.4 to 1
Las Vegas - 9.93 to 1
Dubai - 5.58 to 1
Edinburgh - 4.45 to 1
Dublin - 4.27 to 1
Hong Kong - 3.98 to 1
San Francisco - 3.92 to 1
Vienna - 3.29 to 1
Singapore - 3.16 to 1
Washington DC - 2.86 to 1
Munich - 2.65 to 1
Boston - 2.38 to 1
Bangkok - 2.29 to 1
London - 2.26 to 1
Porto - 1.83 to 1
Los Angeles - 1.79 to 1
Abu Dhabi - 1.65 to 1
Berlin - 1.62 to 1
Kuala Lumpur - 1.62 to 1
New York - 1.57 to 1
Of the 48 cities examined in the study, those in Latin America sat at the bottom of the table. Sao Paulo has a population of 21.8 million but only gets 2.3 million visitors a year; Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro share similarly low ratios.
The research, compiled using UN data, found that Cape Town is also a destination where residents outnumber tourists. Its population is 4.5 million and it welcomes 2.4 million visitors annually.
What is it about Miami?
Other than its favourable weather, our expert Shayne Benowitz says: "Miami is in the midst of a decade-long cultural renaissance. Neighbourhoods such as Wynwood, the Design District, Downtown, Little Haiti and Little Havana have injected the city with newfound energy, buzzy homegrown restaurants and hipster bars."
She adds: "Thanks in part to Art Basel Miami Beach, North America's largest contemporary art fair, held in December, Miami now boasts a bona fide international arts scene year-round. New landmark museums include Perez Art Museum Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Still, the simple pleasure of a day at one of the city's beautiful beaches is hard to beat."
Where relies most on your money?
Miami may be something of a tourist trap, but it isn't the global destination that relies most on your money. That accolade goes to the Maldives, according to research by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Tourism there directly accounts for nearly 40 per cent GDP. In contrast, just 3.7 per cent of the UK's economy is propped up by tourism, while for the US the figure is even lower, at 2.6 per cent.
In the Maldives, annual tourists outnumber residents by around three to one (around 1.5m visit each year, while the population is 417,000).
The destinations where tourism is growing fastest
The following places witnessed the biggest rise in visitor numbers in 2017, compared with the previous year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO):
Palestine - 57.8% year-on-year increase
Egypt - 51%
Northern Mariana Islands - 37.3%
Iceland - 34.9%
Tunisia - 32.5%
Vietnam - 31.2%
Uruguay - 30.2%
Nicaragua - 28.4%
Mongolia - 28.3%
Israel - 25.1%
The presence of Egypt and Tunisia, two countries finding their feet again after years of terror attacks and unrest, will not come as a surprise. Iceland too has experienced a well publicised boom in the past decade. Less expected is the Northern Mariana Islands.
Northern Mariana Islands. Photo: iStock
The self-governing US commonwealth territory welcomed a modest 531,000 tourists in 2016, so we're not talking about a stampede here (up to around 730,000). Just as well really because people heading to this 15-island archipelago – with its swaying palms and powdery shores – go to escape the masses, not jostle for space with them on the beach.
The Telegraph, London