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Singapore, 27 June 2014 – Singapore has retained its position as the leading meeting city and country in the world according to the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2013 Global Rankings. Named Top International Meeting Country for the third year running and Top International Meeting City for the seventh consecutive year, Singapore has once again been recognised as a choice international meeting destination.

In 2013, 994 of the meetings hosted in Singapore met UIA's stipulated qualifying criteria[1], a 4.4 per cent increase from 952 in 2012. It also formed 9.4 per cent of UIA's database of meetings, which was represented by 174 countries and 1,465 cities.

The UIA ranking is the latest in a list of accolades for Singapore as M.I.C.E destination. This year, Singapore was also named Asia's Top Convention City for the 12th consecutive year, by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Singapore's record of 175 ICCA events in 2013 was a 16.7 per cent increase from 150 in 2012, the strongest year-on-year growth since 2005.

Singapore's combination of excellent infrastructure, efficiency, vibrant business ecosystem, knowledge networks, and strategic location in Asia are key attributes for meeting planners selecting the city as a host destination for their events.

"Singapore not only impressed our delegates with its well established infrastructure but also its efficiencies as a city," comments Dr Shirlena Soh, Director of Operations, Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) International who organised the Joint Conference of Human Genome Meeting 2013 and the 21st International Congress of Genetics. "The tremendous support shown by the local scientific community was also extremely overwhelming with more than 50 thought-leaders in the areas of Genetics and Genomics speaking in this Joint Congress. Local delegates and international academic interest-groups were able to use this meeting in Singapore as a platform for ideas and to interact."

Notable events which were held in Singapore in 2013 include the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, the 60th Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Annual Conference, the Amway Japan Leadership Achievement Seminar, the World Engineers' Summit as well as the World Retail Congress Asia Pacific.

This interest in Singapore and strong support of the local community have contributed to a robust pipeline of events. To date, Singapore has secured six world congresses, including the World Congress on Brain Mapping & Therapeutics (SBMT) 2016 and World Congress of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) 2016. In addition, the inaugural Asian edition of SpineWeek 2016 is expected to attract over 7,000 delegates to Singapore, making it their largest meeting to date. Upcoming Asia Pacific congresses include the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference 2015, Regional Dermatology Conference 2016 and Asia Pacific Congress of Hypertension 2017.

Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) says, "We are very happy to be named the top meeting country by UIA once again. Understanding our customers' needs has always been key a focus for us, and we will continue to emphasize our efforts on reliability and efficiency, giving them peace of mind when they attend or hold their events in Singapore."

 

MICE industry's impact on the Singapore economy

To determine the economic impact of the MICE industry in Singapore, STB, together with market research company Frost & Sullivan recently concluded an Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) study on the industry from 2008 to 2012. The study aimed to demonstrate the extent to which the local MICE industry supports the economy in Singapore.

Ms Lachmandas shares, "As reflected in our EIA study, the MICE industry continues to play a significant role for the tourism sector and Singapore. The overall EIA of MICE activities is approximately S$ 3.7 billion or 1.1 per cent of Singapore GDP in 2012. This is an increase from 0.9 per cent of GDP in 2008. The Meetings segment contributes the highest proportion at 55.4 per cent of total economic impact. Beyond the direct economic benefits, MICE also contributed in terms of networking opportunities, branding of Singapore and cross-industry skill sharing."

In line with STB's strategic direction towards quality tourism, STB will continue to build on Singapore's strengths as a MICE city by working closely with industry stakeholders, such as enhancing the capabilities of the industry. Initiatives include working with the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) to roll out a training curriculum based on STB's Sustainability Guidelines, in September this year.

 

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[1] This indicates meetings which are organised or sponsored by international organisations of a significant international character

 

Annex

Top international meeting countries in 2013

RankCountryNumber of meetings
1Singapore994
2USA799
3Korea635
4Japan588
5Belgium - tied505
5Spain - tied505
7Germany428
8France408
9Austria398
10UK349

 

Top international meetings cities in 2013

RankCountryNumber of meetings
1Singapore994
2Brussels436
3Vienna318
4Seoul242
5Tokyo228
6Barcelona195
7Paris180
8Madrid165
9Busan148
10London144

 

About the Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a leading economic development agency in tourism, one of Singapore's key service sectors. Known for partnership, innovation and excellence, STB champions tourism and builds it into a key economic driver for Singapore. STB aims to differentiate and market Singapore as a must-visit destination offering enriching experiences through the "YourSingapore" brand. For more information, please visit www.stb.gov.sg and mice.yoursingapore.com.

 

About the Singapore Tourism Board's Sustainability Guidelines

Launched in 2013, STB's Sustainability Guidelines are geared towards Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry players in Singapore. Covering seven industry categories from across the business events ecosystem, including hotels, venues, event organisers and meeting planners, transportation, food and beverage, as well as audio-visual set-up, STB aims to encourage industry players to adopt sustainable practices to meet global sustainability requirements.

 

About the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau

The Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau™ (SECB) has a mission to champion business travel and business events as key drivers of the tourism sector and enablers for industry growth in Singapore. It aims to establish Singapore as a dynamic business events destination where people, technology and ideas converge to create great value for customers. As the leading government agency for the business events sector in Singapore, the Bureau works with stakeholders to create, attract, and grow business events, as well as ensuring exceptional experiences in the delivery of these events. The Bureau also develops partnerships with international organisations and alliances.

 

About BestCities Global Alliance

The Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau™ (SECB) is a member of the BestCities Global Alliance. BestCities is the first global alliance to put in place a certification programme – with standards certified by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) – to ensure a consistent level of convention bureau service excellence from all partner cities. BestCities Partners are Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Chicago, Singapore and Vancouver. For more information, please visit www.BestCities.net.