Tokyo tops ranking of best ‘bleisure’ destinations in Asia-Pacific

Tokyo's efficient subway system and dining and cultural assets were given high marks by business travellers. — AFP pic
Tokyo's efficient subway system and dining and cultural assets were given high marks by business travellers. — AFP pic

TOKYO, March 4 — Tokyo has been named the best “bleisure” city in the Asia-Pacific region for providing the right balance of business activity, quality infrastructure and top leisure experiences in a new report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

A portmanteau of the words business and leisure, bleisure travellers aim to mix work and play into their work-related trips.

In the 2019 Bleisure Barometer, the Japanese capital ranked first of the 26 Asian cities in the region. Rounding out the podium are Singapore and Sydney.

The index is based on responses from 1,500 business travelers from around the world, who were asked to evaluate cities based on a variety of factors: ease of transportation; availability of consumer goods and service; street safety; quality of business venues; dining; heritage sites; art galleries and museums.

Along with a fast and efficient subway system, Tokyo’s dining and cultural assets were given high marks by respondents: Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than Paris, and futuristic concrete towers exist alongside ancient temples from Japan’s Imperial Family.

“For many such visitors their first taste of this spectacular country is Tokyo, and it’s an unbeatable introduction,” reads the report.

“For while the sheer scale of the metropolis — which is home to 13.6 million people — can be intimidating, its urban precision makes it possible to sample many of the futuristic city’s diverse attractions without being overwhelmed.”

According to the report, Japan has seen booming international tourist arrivals over the last decade, growing from 8.4 million in 2007 to 28.7 million in 2017 — an increase of 234 per cent.

The report also identified interesting preferences among bleisure travelers from around the world. For example, the biggest priority for bleisure travelers from North America is safety. For European business travelers, the quality of lodging is the most important criteria, while public transportation is the biggest priority for bleisure travelers from Asia-Pacific. 

When it comes to leisure, dining was the top priority across the board. 

Here are the top 10 cities for bleisure travel:

1. Tokyo
2. Singapore
3. Sydney
4. Hong Kong
5. Melbourne
6. Shanghai
7. Beijing
8. Osaka
9. Perth
10. Seoul — AFP-Relaxnews

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