According to the latest Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017 released today, travel and tourism in Asia-Pacific are both expected to grow steadily in the period ahead. Bringing in $91.16 billion USD in travel expenditure in 2016, Asia Pacific outpaced Europe ($74.74 billion USD), and North America ($55.02 billion USD).
International overnight visitors to the Top 10 destination cities were up in 2016. According to the Index, Bangkok tracked 19.41 million visitors, while London came in a close second with 19.06 million visitors. Singapore (13.11 million visitors) inched past New York (12.7 million visitors) into fifth position for the first time in three years, while Seoul (12.39 million visitors) leapfrogged three spots into seventh place.
Home to half of the world’s top ten most visited cities, Asia Pacific’s success as a global travel hub has been supported by strong intra-regional travel. Both Singapore and Seoul tracked significant growths, aided by visitors from neighboring countries, particularly those from China. In the Index’s seven-year history, China has grown from being passive contributors to the region’s travel sector to the main driver of growth for visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific’s top destinations. Overall, forecasts for continued growth in 2017 are positive except for New York, with Tokyo (12.2%) expecting the largest boom.
In an exclusive study conducted by YouGov for Samsonite, Tokyo (16%) and Bangkok (14%) have come out top on the list of favourite business destinations for business travellers in Singapore - these two destinations are also top on the list for preferred leisure destination choice!
Save up to 40% off all participating hotels' Best Available Rate with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts' Super Vacation Sales! Simply make your reservation before the end of 10 October 2018 and complete your stay before 30 June 2019 to save more - you will also get up to 3,000 bonus Wyndham Rewards points with this promotion!
I have always been an advocate for Chope since it allows you to not only make reservations on-the-go but also rack up plenty of Chope-Dollars which you can then use for dining vouchers or even KrisFlyer miles. There are no fees involved in using Chope so there is really zero reason for you not to - especially the last thing you want to experience is being turned away at a restaurant that you have already travelled down for.
The latest Hyatt Centric property to join the ever-growing portfolio is Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta this is also the first Hyatt Centric-branded property in Atlanta and it was rebranded from the Hyatt Midtown Atlanta recently. The hotel is situated in the heart of Atlanta’s prominent business, residential and dining district to offer a growing segment of savvy explorers seeking curated, yet authentically local experiences.
The SO Sofitel Singapore has only quite recently unveiled the latest destination rooftop cocktail bar and pool in the hotel's iconic heritage building. Occupying the previous HI-SO space, 1927 is named after the neo-classical building which was built in the year 1927. The new bar in the Central Business District of Singapore introduces an exclusive collection of contemporary equatorial cocktails that are inspired by the cosmopolitan character and tropical essence of Singapore.
Following the success of the first Chef's Table at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore's Shang Palace, Chef Mok Kit Keung will be holding the second one on 10 September 2018. This is an opportunity to indulge in a distinctive private dining experience where the menu is specially tailored according to the seasonal produce and inspiration of Executive Chinese Chef.
Japan's very first Hyatt beach resort property has just opened on the private Seragaki Island of Okinawa. The Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa is connected via a bridge to the main island of Okinawa and it offers a stunning view of the East China Sea from all 344 guest rooms. Blending local culture, warm hospitality and thoughtful service, the Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa enables guests to feel refreshed and reconnected to who and what matters to them most.
Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) now operate under one set of unified benefits and one currency that spans across the entire portfolio of 29 brands - in case you have not realised, you can now merge your SPG and Marriott Rewards account into a unified account so you can get to your next elite status level quicker! Marriott International is also providing members with another way to earn more points (even without a stay) - members are able to earn points across 2,200 participating restaurants and bars in Asia-Pacific. More importantly, members are also awarded with an exclusive F&B discount (up to 20%) based on the status level in the unified Marriott Rewards program.
The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a 18-storey hotel that has two floor above ground and 16 floors below the ground (this includes two floors underwater!). Slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2018, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is poised to welcome guests with an amazing landscape in a deep pit of a former quarry in southwestern Shanghai.
If you are planning to travel to the US next year, it may be a good idea to lock-in attractive USD/SGD rates well before your trip - especially when the DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) is offering a promotional interest rate of 2.50% p.a. from September to December 2018 on eligible fresh funds deposited in the account. The MCA comes with a range of different benefits, so if you are expecting to transact in USD in the year ahead, you will probably want to take advantage of this promotion to lock-in the attractive interest rates and save up for your upcoming expenses in the meantime.