SINGAPORE — Singapore does it again, outstripping other countries as the second safest city in the world and the fifth most popular for visitors. The country is a regular high-performer in global indices of all kinds and has attracted more attention and respect from the rest of the world.
The second safest city in the world
According to the Safe Cities Index (third edition) released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on August 29, Singapore comes second only to Tokyo as the city with the most security across four pillars—digital, infrastructure, health and personal security.
Across five continents and out of 60 cities surveyed globally, the top five safest cities were identified as Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Singapore came first in the world for both infrastructure and personal security and second for digital security.
In the index’s previous editions published in 2017 and 2015, Singapore also ranked second both times, while Tokyo has been in first place for the third time in a row.
“Overall, while wealth is among the most important determinants of safety, the levels of transparency – and governance – correlate as closely as income with index scores,” said EIU senior editor Naka Kondo, editor of this year’s report on the Safe Cities Index.
The research also underlined the connection between different types of safety; for example, it is unusual to have a city that scores high in one safety pillar and low in another.
While six of the top 10 safest cities are in the Asia-Pacific region, some of the lowest-scoring cities in the world—such as Yangon, Karachi and Dhaka—scored close to the bottom of the ranking.
Kondo also added that although Asia-Pacific cities perform well in the health security, infrastructure security and personal security categories, North American cities generally scored higher in terms of digital security, accounting for seven of the top 10 cities in that category.
Top 10 of EIU Safe Cities Index 2019:
1. Tokyo 2. Singapore 3. Osaka 4. Amsterdam 5. Sydney 6. Toronto 7. Washington, DC 8. Copenhagen 9. Seoul 10. Melbourne
The fifth most popular city
Perhaps as a result of being one of the world’s safest cities, Singapore is also one of the most-visited.
Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index placed Singapore as the fifth most popular city in the world.
Bangkok topped the index, holding the number one spot for the fourth year in a row. In 2018, the Thai capital welcomed 22.78 million international overnight visitors, with 3.34% growth forecast for 2019.
Second and third on the list are Paris and London, both playing host to more than 19 million international visitors for overnight stays in 2018.
Mastercard’s index ranked 200 cities across the world, based on publicly available proprietary analysis of visitor volume and spending data.
Dubai was ranked the third most popular visitor destination in the world, with 15.93 million international overnight visitors in 2018, while Singapore welcomed 14.67 million international overnight visitors last year.
All of the cities in the top 10 cities saw an increase for visitor numbers in 2018, except for London, which has experienced a nearly four percent drop in visitor volume.
Since 2009, Asia-Pacific cities have been performing well in terms of visitor counts, with the largest regional increase in international travelers in the world.
Visitor numbers in the region have gone up by nine percent, thanks to the growing multitude of mainland Chinese travellers.
The index also looked at how much visitors spend while in each city. In terms of international overnight visitor spending, Dubai visitors spent US$30.82 billion (S$42.65 billion) there in 2018, spending an average of US$553 (S$765) per day.
Visitors to Bangkok, on the other hand, spent an average of US$184 (S$255) per day, making it the third overall for total international overnight visitor spending at US$20.03 billion (S$27.72 billion) in 2018.
Top 10 of Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index:
1. Bangkok, Thailand: 22.78 million international overnight visitors
2. Paris, France: 19.10 million international overnight visitors
3. London, England: 19.09 million international overnight visitors
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 15.93 million international overnight visitors
5. Singapore: 14.67 million international overnight visitors
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 13.79 million international overnight visitors
7. New York City, USA: 13.60 million international overnight visitors
8. Istanbul, Turkey: 13.40 million international overnight visitors
9. Tokyo, Japan: 12.93 million international overnight visitors
10. Antalya, Turkey: 12.41 million international overnight visitors