Overview of the Meetings Industry in Asia

A comprehensive view of the linkages between business events and tourism, examines the region’s key market segments and developments in the meetings industry, and – through a collection of case studies – highlights the more recent trends in Asia.

The report looks into fifteen countries in the region in terms of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and in terms of attracting and hosting events and providing examples on how these countries have redefined the meetings industry. The report includes two special chapters on China and the Republic of Korea. The report draws attention to the contribution of an important sector of tourism that includes corporate meetings, incentive travel, association congresses and conventions, trade fairs and exhibitions segments that, as the report rightly points out, “play a key role in strengthening a nation’s intellectual engagement, which in turn is fundamental to the development of knowledge and creative economies.”

Global tourism grew by 3.9% reaching an estimated total of 1.2 billion in 2016. Asia and the Pacific registered an increase of more than double the international arrivals with an exceptional 8.2% growth, accounting for 25% of the market with 303 million arrivals during the year. Tourism’s direct and indirect impact on trade, revenue, GDP and employment in Asia and the Pacific is therefore considerable in which the meetings industry has been playing a valuable role.

According to UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2016 Edition, around 14% of all international tourists reported travelling for business and professional purposes. Given the standing of Asia and the Pacific as an outbound and an inbound market, this report with its regional and country specific case study analysis highlights the present status, future potential and challenges and opportunities of the meetings industry which, I am sure, will interest not only those in the tourism sector of the region but also the global actors who have a stake in the lucrative meetings industry market in Asia and the Pacific.