In the past few years, corporate travel to Southeast Asia has rocketed in popularity, with Singapore at the heart of this boom. Figures suggest that Southeast Asia generates the highest returns from business travel, above any other region of the Asian Pacific.

Reports have also shown that this area of the world has weathered the storm of recession very well in comparison with the US and Europe. In 2012, professional travel to Southeast Asia was up by around 35%, helped no doubt by the availability of cheap flights to business centres like Singapore. Other reasons behind this increase included greater sales and marketing efforts and more seminars and conferences taking place there. Recent studies have also shown that Singapore is the second most popular place in the world for businesses to set up new branches. But what’s behind the sudden interest in this part of the world?

Changi Airport – Ministry of Transport Singapore/flickr (courtesy image)

Changi Airport – Ministry of Transport Singapore/flickr (courtesy image)

Singapore as a country is a lot bigger than most people realise. In addition to the main island, there are 62 smaller islands in its realm and it continues to grow as a centre for business as well as a popular tourist destination, which means it’s a great place to mix business with pleasure.

Business travellers can attend functions and seminars here, enjoying the facilities available at Asia’s top convention city as named by the International Congress and Convention Association. They can also bring along their families who will have the opportunity to enjoy the many attractions on offer in the city, including Universal Studios Singapore and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It’s also a fantastic city to pick up an electronic bargain, with a wide range of electronic devices available for great prices to the savvy business traveller.

Singapore has a free trade policy, wherein products can be imported with no limitation on quantity, though restrictions do apply to certain items such as medicine, arms and livestock. Foreign exchange regulations are no issue here either, offering a high level of flexibility in business transactions.

In terms of its geographic position, Singapore is ideally located as a business centre, easily accessible to major Asian powerhouses such as Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Changi airport is the seventh busiest airport in the world and operates more than 6,000 flights a week to hundreds of destinations. This critically acclaimed airport offers excellent services for visitors, with the JetQuay Terminal specifically serving the needs of business travellers, making it the perfect spot to liaise with potential business connections from around the world. And although the country is growing in popularity, cheap flights to Singapore are still readily available from a large number of international airports.

Singapore is definitely a country on the up and worth looking at if your business harbours ambitions of succeeding on a global scale.

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Featured image (Singapore skyline) – credit jjcb/flickr (courtesy image)