Singapore takes top spot in APAC in GainingEdge’s Competitive Index

Singapore has taken the Asia-Pacific (APAC) crown in GainingEdge’s fourth annual Competitive Index of international convention destinations, where the 2021 edition ranks the world’s top cities in terms of key draw factors for meeting planners.

Other APAC destinations that have made top 10 include Beijing, Tokyo, and Bangkok. Same as in 2020, Paris tops the list, while New York comes in at number two.

This year’s report focuses on destinations’ competitiveness to help them understand which strategies and activities can be deployed to speed up their recovery

As in previous years, the report covers the top 101 destinations with the largest number of international association meetings, according to ICCA, held in the last recorded three-year series (2017-2019). It also took into account the effect of Covid-19 since its onset in early 2020, and points out challenges international convention destinations have faced.

The report further identifies four key areas that all destinations should focus on as it recovers from the pandemic:

  • Intellectual Engagement – Building relationships with local leaders and leveraging on their international reputation;
  • Flexible Approach – Providing more flexible product offerings and maintaining an agile market approach;
  • Technological Advancement – Embracing new technologies in meetings and events to cater for live and remote participants;
  • Regional Focus – Increasing short-term focus on national and regional markets which will provide more near-term yield.

In addition, six cities – Beijing, Istanbul, Moscow, Budapest, Florence, and Ghent – that best show what can be achieved by different combinations of products and a focus on the international meetings market were also highlighted.

GainingEdge Analysis & Research (GEAR) head, Milos Milovanovic, said the main purpose of the Destination Competitive Index is to develop methodologies and quantitative tools for destination comparison which can help users speed up their post-Covid recovery.

“Our key focus this year was to provide a market analysis that would help people identify strategies and activities they can use to recover faster. The Index provides quantitative indicators that can facilitate conversations between the meetings industry and policymakers, be they government or city authorities. If they have facts-based data their proposals for industry support and other recovery assistance are more likely to be successful.”

GainingEdge CEO, Jon Sivertson, added that the key for all destinations is to analyse their competitiveness, within the correct set of competing cities, in order to better understand their current challenges. Armed with that perspective, they can develop effective strategies to speed up their recovery from the pandemic.

The full report can be found here.

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