1. According to new research released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), companies from Southeast Asia generate the highest return on investment (ROI) from business travel of any region within Asia Pacific. This is driven particularly by the high proportion of international travel from the region
2. The findings show the importance of face to face meetings in doing business in Asia. On average, executives report that 29% of their company’s new sales depend on business travel, and business travelers on average estimate that 38% of their customers would switch to a competitor without in-person meetings.
3. The country with the highest return from business travel is Singapore. The WTTC Study reports that by being a convention hub, Singapore creates synergies across diverse travel and tourism sectors by gathering industry leaders who share best practices, expand business networks, and set the stage for collaboration to leverage and sustain ASEAN’s tourism growth.
4. Adam Sacks, Managing Director, Oxford Economics, stated: “On a global basis, the analysis was conclusive that company performance is directly tied to business travel. For Asia, the relationship was particularly striking as the region seems to place a premium on face-to-face meetings. The importance of international trade to Asia makes business travel all the more crucial, creating business links across borders, cultures, and languages.”
5. As ASEAN continues to be a major recipient of foreign direct investment and as many multinational corporations expand in the region, business travel within and to ASEAN has and will continue to grow at a rapid pace. ASEAN’s overall destination appeal will be more important when selecting a convention site, especially with MICE buyers who are looking for new destinations and activities.
6. Group incentive travel will become more interactive with host communities. As business travelers look to buy experiences, convention hubs like Singapore that are short of natural attractions, will have to cooperate with their ASEAN neighbors in diversifying their travel offerings to develop ASEAN’s competitive edge as a premier tourist destination.
7. The demand for customized (tailor-made) tours will rise as business travelers seek unique travel experiences that personally engage them and provide quality service.
8. In terms of activities offered, South-east Asia continues to feature cultural/heritage tourism and adventure tourism (Indochina), marine tourism (Malaysia and Philippines), and integrated resorts (Singapore). Indochina is emerging as a popular destination for adventure tourism while Malaysia and the Philippines focus on promoting marine tourism. South-east Asia is closely associated with wellness/medical, marine and adventure tourism. Culinary tourism is associated with such countries/regions like the Philippines, Macau and Singapore that blend Eastern and Western tastes.