Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok come out on top as the three most-booked destinations for business travel originating from the little red dot - based on all air bookings made directly with American Express's Global Business Travel (GBT) in 2015.
Outside of APAC, London and New York ranked as the top destinations. Milan, a global fashion capital, came in tenth place, with Zurich, Switzerland, being the only city to drop from last year's charts.
The rankings by American Express's full service TMC will come as no surprise to many, as they have remained broadly consistent for the past few years. Still, David Reimer, managing director of GBT for APAC, indicates it's worth acknowledging emerging industries which hold sizeable sway over the rankings.
"Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta remain the top two destinations due to the traditional business links with Singapore, close proximity, as well as being technology and data centre hubs," said Reimer. "Other top-ranked cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo are very popular for private wealth management and banking, despite a moderate decline in travel spending within financial services in recent times."
The rankings reflect Singapore's role as a central business hub within APAC, with short trips to neighbouring cities by top execs comprising a large part of its business mettle. Reimer says these rankings are likely to hold true for the foreseeable future. "Singapore remains an attractive regional base for many major companies due to favourable tax laws, and it's also a desirable and highly liveable location for senior executives relocating from abroad. As Asia Pacific continues to grow into a powerhouse of the global economy, we are likely to continue to see the role of Singapore as a business hub develop even further," he concluded.
The top 10 international destinations: 1. Kuala Lumpur 2. Jakarta 3. Bangkok 4. Hong Kong 5. Shanghai 6. Manila 7. Tokyo 8. Seoul 9. Mumbai 10. Taipei The top 10 international destinations outside of APAC: 1. London 2. New York 3. San Francisco 4. Dubai 5. Amsterdam 6. Los Angeles 7. Frankfurt 8. Paris 9. Munich 10. Milan