SINGAPORE: Singapore has maintained its pole position as Asia's top convention city for the 10th consecutive year, according to the latest global rankings by the International Congress and Convention Association.
Singapore also retained its spot as the only Asian city in the top five convention cities in the world alongside Vienna, Barcelona, Paris and Berlin, since 2006.
Singapore welcomed a record 13.2 million visitors last year. Business visitors formed 24 per cent of total visitorship to Singapore, with the number of business visitors rising 2.6 per cent to 3.2 million.
Expenditure by these business travellers increased by 4.1 per cent to an estimated S$5.6 billion, or 25 percent of total tourism receipts.
The Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry saw a 46 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of conventions, conferences and trade shows held in Singapore last year.
Singapore Tourism Board's assistant chief executive, Neeta Lachmandas, said: "Our success can be attributed to several factors: a vibrant eco-system that nurtures business events of exceptional quality, the dynamic growth in Asia, and most importantly, the dedication of our MICE industry partners.
"Looking ahead, Singapore aims to continue leveraging the growing opportunities in Asia and our strong knowledge network to further strengthen our position as a preferred MICE destination.
"Singapore strives to differentiate itself by co-creating and developing a strong network of business events within Singapore's key priority industries.
"Through close collaboration with professional industry partners and sustained efforts to develop the capabilities of Singapore's key industry clusters such as biomedical and healthcare; infocomm technologies; environment and energy; and banking and finance, STB serves to attract and develop flagship MICE events of international standing that reinforce Singapore's attractiveness as a leading MICE city."
Inaugural events staged in Singapore last year included Cruise Shipping Asia, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Global Aviation Human Capital Summit and ScreenSingapore.
Singapore will host 17 new world congresses from 2012 till 2016.
These include the 52nd ACI World Congress in 2013, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations Congress 2013, the 36th World Diamond Congress in 2013 and the International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2015.