Sunday 29 June 2014

S'pore remains No. 1 venue for meetings

Republic ranked top country for third year and top city for 7th year running
By Hoe Pei Shan, The Straits Times, 28 Jun 2014

SINGAPORE has once again emerged as the most popular place in the world to hold meetings.

It was ranked Top International Meeting Country for the third year running, and Top International Meeting City for the seventh consecutive year, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) yesterday.

The 2013 global rankings were drawn up by the Union of International Associations, a non-profit research institute and documen-tation centre based in Brussels.

Last year, 994 of the meetings in Singapore were run by organisations of "a significant international character" - more than any other country in the world, said the union.

In comparison, there were 799 such meetings in the whole of the United States, and 635 in South Korea, which came in second and third respectively in the country category.

Singapore's tally last year was a 4.4 per cent increase from the year before, and made up almost one in 10 of all meetings held across 174 countries and 1,465 cities.

Notable events held here last year include the 60th Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Annual Conference, the World Engineers Summit and the World Retail Congress Asia Pacific.

Singapore's good infrastructure, efficiency, vibrant business environment and strategic location in Asia made it a choice destination for meeting planners, said STB in a statement.

The tremendous support from communities in relevant industries in Singapore has also been a pull factor, noted Dr Shirlena Soh.

Dr Soh is director of operations at Human Genome Organisation International, which organised two major scientific meetings here in April last year.

The meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry is a significant money-spinner for the Republic.

This is especially so as the typical MICE visitor spends two to three times more than a leisure tourist. MICE activities contributed $3.7 billion to the economy, or 1.1 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product, in 2012, up from 0.9 per cent in 2008.

Top destinations

Top international meeting countries last year by rank and number of meetings:

1. Singapore (994)

2. United States (799)

3. South Korea (635)

4. Japan (588)

5. Belgium (505)

5. Spain (505)

7. Germany (428)

8. France (408)

9. Austria (398)

10. Britain (349)

Top international meeting cities last year by rank and number of meetings:

1. Singapore (994)

2. Brussels (436)

3. Vienna (318)

4. Seoul (242)

5. Tokyo (228)

6. Barcelona (195)

7. Paris (180)

8. Madrid (165)

9. Busan (148)

10. London (144)

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