Impact Publications : MICEBTN-72
MICEBTN - March-April 2019 • Page 19 Tokyo ranks tops for A-P bleisure A NEW study has ranked Tokyo first out of 26 cities in the region for its combination of business and leisure - or bleisure - appeal for travellers. Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong and Melbourne all joined the Jap- anese capital as five-star bleisure destinations in the new EIU study. The 2019bleisure barometer: Asia’s best cities for work and recreation showed Asia’s best bleisure destinations provide the right balance of business activity, high-quality infrastructure and top- flight leisure experiences, though a number of less-obvious choices stood out. Asia’s top cities for bleisure Rank City 1 Tokyo 2 Singapore 3 Sydney 3 Hong Kong 5 Melbourne 6 Shanghai 7 Beijing 8 Osaka 9 Perth 10 Seoul Cities were scored out of five possible points, with scores tabu- lated from responses of a survey of 1,500 business travellers from around the world, asking them about a variety of factors impact- ing business travel, such as ease of transportation and availability of consumer goods and services. Scores were used to determine rankings as well as star groupings, with five-star cities scoring above the average and one-star cities scoring below. One significant finding from the study is that Asia’s best cities for bleisure are not necessarily its most liveable. Although the specific questions used in the survey were inspired by our Global Liveability Index, some striking differences emerged. For example, wealthy cit- ies such as Auckland, New Zealand, and Adelaide, Australia, sit atop the league tables for liveability, but drastically underperform on blei- sure. Meanwhile, Shanghai and Bei- jing, while rarely considered highly liveable, show their rising business might in the bleisure study, filling the four-star tier. The study also assesses specific aspects of the bleisure experi- ence, such as what makes for a successful business trip and what travellers look for in their leisurely diversions. On the former ques- tion, ease of transportation takes the top spot , followed closely by safety and orderliness of streets/ urban areas and quality of business facilities. On the question of leisure activities, dining out won by a large margin, with visiting local historical Five staRs FouR staRs thRee staRs two staRs one staR Tokyo Shanghai Osaka Taipei Bangkok Singapore Beijing Perth Guangzhou Adelaide Sydney Seoul Kuala Lumpur Shenzhen Hong Kong Mumbai Jakarta Melbourne Wellington Ho Chi Minh City Brisbane Colombo New Delhi Hanoi Auckland Manila or heritage sites and going to an art museum/gallery ranking second and third. According to Naka Kondo, editor of the report: “Cities in Asia-Pa- cific should take note: facilitating leisure experiences for corporate travellers can be the key to differ- entiating in a crowded business travel market . Some of the top cities in our bleisure barometer are already world leaders in this regard, while others can learn from the best in improving access to the intersection of business and leisure travel in the region.” The report , including full scoring and star bracket methodology, as well as an infographic and vid- eo, can be found at: https://five- starcities.economist.com/?utm_ source=PRMO MCC upgrade work starts Work has commenced to restructure the Memphis Convention Centre (MCC) Tennessee and make it an internationally competitive meetings and convention venue. Scheduled for completion in Autumn 2020, the renovation is the largest civic project in the US city since FedExForum was constructed in 2014. When complete, the MCC features will include a column-free 10962.5587 sq. metres (118,000sq ft) main exhibition hall, a new exterior concourse and pre-function space, 46 breakout rooms, a secondary flex space that will convert to a 6270.95 sq metres (67,500sq ft) ballroom (the largest in the region), and a 2601.28 sq. metres (28,000sq ft) ball- room to host smaller events. The renovation also includes public art, and digital way-finding and additional loading docks for easier bump in and out.