emerging destination index

by Juan on January 25, 2009

Using the Emerging Markets Index released by Mastercard back in October, I’ve created something I’m going to call the Emerging Destination Index as a tool to provide clues as to which non-traditional tourist destinations may provide the fundamental infrastructure to sustain the type of travellers that I’ve been discussing over the last little while in this blog.

The original index data is available from Mastercard, and all I did was to reconfigure the weights assigned by the original methodology to assign more value to those dimensions that have a higher impact on the ability of a traveller to operate remotely from the region with fair access to a urban standard of living. These are the weights I assigned:

  • Economic and Commercial Environment (0%) – Used in the original index to measure time and costs for building a standard warehouse, registering a property, exporting/importing cargo, and rate corruption and foreign bond, it seemed mostly irrelevant for the purpose of this index, so I left it out.
  • Economic Growth and Development (10%) – Measuring the broad economic health and growth of the national economy this dimension seems to be the best way of describing the level of infrastructure that will ultimately support most activities from those visiting. It will also likely be related to the level scope of urban areas and the availability of important infrastructure outside of the major cities.
  • Business Environment (7%) – Reflects the ability to setup a business. After all in order for travellers to gain access to the region, business must prosper along with all their suppliers, just so the visitors can enjoy their stay with a guarantee of fundamental services.
  • Financial Services Environment (6%) – The availability of financial services to sustain the traveller during the stay.
  • Commercial Connectivity (16%) – While I made the point that no place on Earth is remote anymore, this dimension measures city connectivity to other world and regional commercial centers by air, airline passenger volumes, presence of foreign consulates/embassies, international hotels, convention/meeting facilities, and international trade.
  • Education, and IT Connectivity Environment (12%) – The availability of basic IT infrastructure may be key for those trying to maintain their links to work life active while on the region.
  • Quality of Urban Life (28%) – Measures the quality of life by considering: personal freedom/media and censorship, medical and health considerations, public services and transport, recreation and culture, mortality, and the presence of world heritage sites. For someone looking to make a trip to a region for a few weeks, this dimension alone provides the most important aspect of the index on whether the visit will be full of memorable experiences.
  • Risk & Security (21%) – Gauges a city’s overall risk and security through personal freedom, personal physical safety and the political and social environment. A concern in most emerging regions continues to be personal security and while a destination may be inviting, venturing outside of the usual tourist destinations will require the region to provide a basic safety guarantee.

Here are the top 10 destinations according to this index:

  1. Shanghai
  2. Budapest
  3. Warsaw
  4. Beijing
  5. Buenos Aires
  6. Kuala Lumpur
  7. Sao Paulo
  8. Santiago
  9. Mexico City
  10. Bangkok

I’ll be happy to share the full list of 65 with anyone that is interested.

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