Tokyo ranks first out of 26 cities in the region for its combination of business and leisure—or bleisure—appeal for travellers.

According to a study by Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong and Melbourne along with the Japanese capital are “five-star” bleisure destinations.

As corporate travel booms across the Asia-Pacific, the concept of bleisure is gaining traction, spurring the region’s cities to better integrate opportunities for leisure amid busy business trips.

Asia’s top cities for bleisure

3Hong Kong

Cities were scored out of five possible points, with scores tabulated from responses of a survey of 1,500 business travellers from around the world, asking them about a variety of factors impacting business travel, such as ease of transportation and availability of consumer goods and services. Scores were used to determine rankings as well as star groupings, with five-star cities scoring above the average and one-star cities scoring below.

Five starsFour starsThree starsTwo starsOne star
SydneySeoulKuala LumpurShenzhen
Hong KongMumbaiJakarta
MelbourneWellingtonHo Chi Minh City
New DelhiHanoi

The study also assesses specific aspects of the bleisure experience, such as what makes for a successful business trip and what travellers look for in their leisurely diversions. On the former question, ease of transportation takes the top spot, followed closely by safety and orderliness of streets/urban areas and quality of business facilities. On the question of leisure activities, dining out won by a large margin, with visiting local historical or heritage sites and going to an art museum/gallery ranking second and third.

One significant finding from the study is that Asia’s best cities for bleisure are not necessarily the most liveable. For example, wealthy cities such as Auckland, New Zealand, and Adelaide, Australia, sit atop the league tables for liveability, but drastically underperform on bleisure. Meanwhile, Shanghai and Beijing, while rarely considered highly liveable, show their rising business might in the bleisure study, filling the four-star tier.

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