CWT Meetings & Events unveiled its predictions for the top ten Asia Pacific cities for M&E in 2019.
2019 forecast for top ten Asia Pacific meetings and events cities (2018/17 positions in brackets):
1. Shanghai, China (2018: 1 /2017: 6)
2. Singapore (2/1)
3. Beijing, China (4/-)
4. Bangkok, Thailand (6/3)
5. Sydney, Australia (5/2)
6. Tokyo, Japan (8/8)
7. Hong Kong, China (10/5)
8. Melbourne, Australia (-/7)
9. Mumbai, India (-/9)
10. Chengdu, China (-/-)
Next year’s table has one brand new entry, China’s Chengdu (10) and two cities that dropped out of the top ten in 2018 – India’s Mumbai (9) and Melbourne, Australia (8). Of the three cities who dropped off next year’s list, two were new entrants in 2018 – Taipei in Taiwan (7), and China’s Guangzhou (9) – and one was a former high flyer, Shenzhen in China, which came third in 2018.
Across Asia Pacific, cost per attendee per day is predicted to fall 4% in 2019 to US$276. The average group size is forecasted to increase to 81 in 2019, up 3% from 2018.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the way for global growth in 2019, with the International Monetary Fund expecting the region’s GDP to rise by 5.6% next year, compared with a global increase of 3.9%. China, predicted to grow 6.4% in 2019, and India, predicted to grow 7.3%, will again lead the way.
Chinese tourists also spent US$258 billion on international tourism in 2017, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organization.
The more mature destinations in the region – Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul – are leading the way when it comes to hosting conferences that focus more on ‘thought leadership’ and the ‘exchange of ideas’ rather than pure commerce.
Another destination set to see plenty of attention next year is Japan, which will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament, followed by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The country’s government wants to increase visitor numbers to 40 million in 2020, a 40% rise on 2017, with plans for 60 million arrivals by 2020.