Spain, Thailand and China top the list as the most sought-after event and incentive destinations for 2019, according to Pacific World, a global destination and event management company. "It's no coincidence that the destinations that top our list all have strong convention bureaus and a clear destination development strategy, as well as modern infrastructures and convenient access," said Patricia Silvio, global marketing manager of Pacific World, which was founded in Hong Kong in 1980 and now operates in more than 40 countries and over 100 destinations around the world. "We are also excited about some of the up-and-comers on the list, like Peru and Monaco, which have made major investments."
The annual destination list - actually a suite of lists - is based on inquiries about holding events, as well as the number of events confirmed for 2019. The United States, certainly the all-time global meetings juggernaut, is not included in these rankings to give emphasis elsewhere.
Spain tops both the worldwide and Europe/Middle East/Africa lists for the second year in a row. According to Pacific World, the country's popularity is bolstered by proactive convention bureaus and influencers in major cities like Barcelona, Tenerife and Seville.
France, the U.K., Italy and Monaco/South of France round out the top five of the EMEA list. "Motivated by the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games, the Paris region committed to enhancing the visitor experience, backed by a 23 million euro investment plan that will greatly boost France as both a tourist and MICE destination," said Silvio. "Nearby Monaco has recently completed a major renovation of the Casino Square area, including a restored five-star Hotel de Paris and the addition of the One Monte Carlo conference center."
Thailand has moved up a notch this year, to the second position worldwide, buoyed by a strong convention bureau and the backing of local and state governments. "Recent news, like the results of the Global Destination Sustainability Index, which put Bangkok as the number-two destination in Asia, will enhance the image of that city and help appeal to a new generation of planners who prioritize environmental and social sustainability when choosing destinations," noted Silvio.
China, Indonesia and Singapore follow Spain in the worldwide list. As international and regional airlines continue to open new routes, China's most-sought-after cities are becoming more accessible. Likewise, Indonesia's government is investing in existing event/incentive draws like Bali and Lombok while developing new destinations to drive new MICE interest.
Peru continues its climb up the worldwide list, moving up to sixth place this year. "Peru has been showing steady growth, particularly from the U.S. market," says Silvio. "They've made important infrastructure changes and investments, and have proactively courted MICE planners in the U.S. Moreover, the opening of a new convention center in Lima in 2015 was a game-changer, in that the city is now able to host large-scale events."
Here are complete listings fir the PacificWorld's top destinations:
Top 10 Most Demanded Destinations for 2019
7. Hong Kong
8. United Kingdom
9. South Korea
EMEA Top 5 Most Demanded Destinations for 2019
5. UAE & Monaco (tied)
Asia's Top 5 Most Demanded Destinations for 2019
5. Hong Kong