TravelNewsAsia.com
Wed, 4 Sept 2019

Shanghai Retains Top Spot for Meetings & Events in Asia Pacific in 2020

CWT M&E, the global meetings and events division of CWT, has unveiled its ranking of the top 10 cities for meetings and events in Asia Pacific (APAC), with Shanghai holding on to the coveted number one spot.

The ranking is based on proprietary and industry data contained in CWT’s 2020 Meetings & Events Future Trends report, to be published next week.

The top 10 cities for meetings and events in APAC (versus 2019):

1. Shanghai, China (1)
2. Beijing, China (3)
3. Singapore (2)
4. Bangkok, Thailand (4)
5. Sydney, Australia (5)
6. Tokyo, Japan (6)
7. Hong Kong, China (7)
8. Mumbai, India (9)
9. Melbourne, Australia (8)
10. Chengdu, China (10)

The top 10 list in APAC has proven sticky, with the exact same cities featured in both the 2020 and 2019 lists—with most hardly budging from last year’s rankings and with no new entrant in sight. China, once again, netted the most entries, including Beijing and Chengdu, and continues to drive M&E activity in the region.

New hotel wing and comprehensive meeting facilities being build in Nonthaburi, just outside Bangkok, Thailand. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

As in North America, the increasingly acrimonious trade war between the world’s two largest economies is threatening to derail this growth, and is stoking fears of potentially triggering a recession.

“It is hard to underestimate the impact of the US-China trade tit-for-tat,” said Sam Lay, Senior Director, Asia Pacific, CWT Meetings & Events. “Companies across the region, including those in the meetings and events industry, are wary of the deteriorating situation and its negative effect on business.”

Closer to home, the three-month old protests rocking the streets of Hong Kong are also being closely watched by the business community. A number of countries have issued safety advisories urging travelers to exercise caution, and some businesses are taking a wait-and-see approach with their meetings and events scheduled in the near to mid-term. However, sentiment remains positive for Hong Kong as a key international business destination in 2020.

The region itself continues to be a top draw for incentive travel, as attendees look for unique, life-changing experiences in the varied and distinct cultures of Asia Pacific. Demand is going beyond the well-known regional hubs and into second and third-tier cities.

Among the region’s destinations on the rise are Hanoi in Vietnam, Dalian and Macau in China, Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Perth, Australia. These destinations typically offer better values than the top-tier cities, along with an increasing number of competitive hotels and venues that can host meetings and events of varying sizes.

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