Destination management and event production companies Pacific World and Access have released their 2018 Special Destinations Report, which profiles top destinations and explores why they are trending.
While in many cases well-known destinations are still popular for incentive travel, the demand for immersive and more compelling experiences continues to rise, creating opportunities for locations and venues previously unexplored, the companies said.
“The progression toward the experience economy is something we at Access have been talking about and delivering against for some time now, and many of the current trends in destination and venue selection confirm this direction," said Access CEO Chris Lee.
Here are some highlights from the report, which also discusses the top destinations in the US and Europe.
With the growth of Chinese middle-class consumers and relocation of manufacturing, many more mid-scale and budget hotels are opening up in the 2nd and 3rd-tier cities. 66 top luxury hotels opened in 2017 and 2018, which have helped to drive up the destination experience and provide ample additional event spaces.
With 52 UNESCO World Heritage sites in mainland China, China is the number 2 country in the world. ... Dozens of World Heritage sites are within driving distance of Shanghai and Beijing, which makes it easy to fold into a program before or after an event or conference.
New locations and destinations are also offering “off-the-beaten-path” activities and experiences, options that are more local and experiential. Unique culture and traditions that can now be experienced from a different perspective by interacting with locals. This range of activities is attracting generations looking for fully immersive and engaging experiences.
While Shanghai and Beijing will remain top of the list, new destinations will grow in the upcoming years. For instance, Yunnan is, in itself, like a mini country with 25 different Chinese nationalities living in the province. It’s also a safe and accessible way to experience the Tibetan culture.
Indonesia, especially Bali, is a peaceful country enjoying a wonderful year when compared to so many other destinations in crisis.
Lombok island is considered the “new Bali” and, thanks to increased connections, infrastructure and attractive cultural and natural heritage, will continue to attract more and more corporate incentives each year.
Split programs, combining new areas of Bali and Lombok are being requested on a regular basis.
In the coming years, we will also see a rise in interest in the remote islands of Komodo and Flores, currently attracting leisure programs with their unique flora and fauna (such as the Komodo Dragon). A new resort will also open there in July 2018.
Beyond Bali, Yogyakarta in the South of Java, will continue generating interest because of great hotels, wonderful sights and a solid infrastructure.
In 2008, China announced plans to mesh nine cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and Hong Kong, into a single megacity. World Bank declares it as the World’s Biggest Megacity.
Developments like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HKZMB) and Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will serve to connect the cities.
Creating an eco-system of intercity, multi session meetings in different locales—simplifying and shortening travel times. This and with existing impressive meeting venues in the five principle cities will definitely interest meeting professionals around the globe.
The Pearl River Delta region sets Hong Kong firmly as part of its grand plan and possibilities for meetings and events are near limitless here in this exciting new region.