Bangkok scores well in Asian innovation league

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Bangkok scores well in Asian innovation league

In recent times it’s been interesting to note just how well Bangkok has fared when it comes to the almost perennial lists of best travelling destinations, either in Asia, or across the world.

Given that Thailand itself enjoys a tourist influx of millions every year and the numbers continue to rise, it’s probably no real surprise to find Bangkok rating so highly.

Yet, in April this year Solidiance, an Asian-based marketing strategy and consulting firm, compiled a list of what it called the 16 most innovative cities in the Asia Pacific region.

In order to compile this list they established a set of six categories and then assigned a score to each city. After tallying up the scores from each of the six categories they arrived at what they called their innovative cities winning list.

The six categories consisted of human talent, knowledge creation, technology, society, government, and global integration.

It’s probably no real surprise that Singapore came in at number one, but Bangkok rated well at number 12, just behind Kuala Lumpur but ahead of Beijing.

Damien Duhamel, a managing partner at Solidiance, was the main author of the research project. He noted, “Bangkok is all about vibrant culture and its welcoming society – its openness towards diverse inputs has granted it mountainous perks. Bangkok is seen as one of the promising producers of advertising, movie, and other creative industry.”

Although Bangkok’s overall ranking was 0.34 it apparently topped the society category (beating out such places as Mumbai, Shanghai, Auckland, and Sydney) and scored quite highly in the human talent category.

“However, creativity doesn’t always lead to innovation, and Bangkok still needs to mainly improve their educational support as it ranks really low compared to all of the categories,” Duhamel said.

The promising nature of the ranking fits well with Bangkok’s increasingly prominent position among the most popular travel destinations in the world.

The world’s largest and, arguably, most influential travel site TripAdvisor, noted in its fifth annual Travellers’ Choice Destinations awards that Bangkok ranked 13th across the globe.
The awards are based on literally millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. In first place worldwide was Paris, ahead of New York City, London, Rome, and Barcelona. Bangkok was the first city to be ranked in Southeast Asia, and indeed in all of Asia.

Within the Asia category, Bangkok obviously topped the list. What’s interesting is that it virtually came out of nowhere to take the top spot. It had not ranked in the top 10 for 2012 but rocketed to the top of the chart ahead of Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai for the 2013 awards. Siem Reap in Cambodia ranked fifth with Chiang Mai sixth.

While Bangkok still has some way to go before it ranks prominently with the business and corporate world, regular improvements in transport infrastructure (the BTS and MRT especially) have made getting to and from appointments in certain central areas of the capital far easier than in past years.

It might not be that much longer before we start to see Bangkok not only continuing to rate highly in tourist terms but, as the Solidiance ranking shows, the City of Angels begins to make its mark in that all-important business sphere.