8 Emerging Business Cities

The never-changing list of important business cities has been dominated by global icons like New York, London and Paris for years. While they are certainly not anywhere near giving up their position as financial leaders, there are some contending cities out there who are working on developing themselves to become business cities. Not surprisingly, most of the cities are located in Asia.

Shenzhen, China

Located near Hong Kong, this Chinese city has more than 11 million inhabitants. While you may have never heard of it, the city is definitely booming. Called the “Silicon Valley of China”, Shenzhen produces most of the electronic devices in the world. It is the home of IT giant Huawei, and chances are the iPhone you’ve been using has been assembled in factories in Shenzhen. The city is working hard to become a strategic location for technology, and we will certainly hear more about it in the future.


Beijing, China

The famous capital of China is home to more than 20 million people. For China to become a world player, the business climate must be easily accessible. Hence the recently enforced regulations by the government to advance the business climate in the city. In the West, China is known as the secretive, perhaps even an isolated country, but China itself is working on developing its business and aiming for leadership. And what city could better serve as the starting point for development and leadership than the capital?

Seoul, South-Korea

The birthplace of tech giant Samsung, South-Korea, has the fourth largest economy of Asia and is only surpassed by China, Japan and India. Its capital, Seoul, has over 9 million inhabitants. While not as well-known as cities like Tokyo or Hong Kong, Seoul has a lot to offer. Many famous companies have their headquarters in Seoul, like Hyundai, LG, and KIA. The citizens of Seoul are used to being among the first users of newly developed technology and have access to many technological resources. Seoul is definitely a city to watch.


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, is the wealthiest emirate in the UAE. The government of the UAE is aiming its attention to improving the business climate and making it more attractive for investors. Just like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is home to very luxurious hotels, apartments and affluent residents. The Emirates pride themselves for having a fairly stable, safe and wealthy country in a not so stable region.

Sao Paolo, Brazil

Sao Paolo is home to over 12 million people and is the biggest city in Brazil. Sao Paolo is the most innovative city of the country and is respected for its technological advances and its performance in the agriculture sector (Secretaria de Relações Internacionais, 2019). Major international companies are based in Sao Paolo, varying from financial companies to IT and other sectors. The Port of Santos is the biggest harbour in South-America. Sao Paolo has a lot of potentials and is already established as a major business city in its own region.

Tokyo, Japan

With a population of 13 million people, the ever-vibrant capital of Japan definitely deserves a spot on this list. Did you know that Tokyo is home to over 600 companies surpassing New York and London? (Sawe, 2018). This includes hugely successful, multinational (Japanese) companies, like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Sony, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Tokyo is known for its excellent schools and institutions, but also for its exceptional IT industry (Invest Tokyo, sd). Not only that, Japanese customers expect goods to exceed their expectations, so improvement is key, making research important to the country.

Doha, Qatar

Doha is the capital of the wealthiest country in the world, Qatar. With a population of only 2.6 million, of which 900.000 live in Doha, the small, but immensely rich country, has access to many oil reserves and natural gas. 99% of the population live in cities, and, fun fact, Qatar does not have forests! Oil was not discovered in Qatar until 1939, after which it became the main source of income (BBC, 2018). Did you know that Qatar used to be a British protectorate? Qatar actually gained independence in 1971, not so long ago. Doha is the economic heart of the country, and the government is investing heavily to make the non-oil sectors also attractive to investors.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

There’s more to Dubai than just the Burj Al Arab and the popular shopping malls. In fact, Dubai wants to become a global leader. The second biggest emirate of the United Arab Emirates, only surpassed by Abu Dhabi, is home to over 2 million people and prides itself for its great infrastructure, its excellent business environment, and its research facilities. It turns out that Dubai is not just the city of perfect Instagram pictures and excellent retail therapy.


By Melisa Kirdi



Lin, 2018

Bajpai, 2019

Downey, 2012

Workman, 2018

Invest in Tokyo

Smith, 2017



EyeForTravel Amsterdam 28-29 November 2018

With the great success of the EyeForTravel Europe summit in June 2018, the next conference now will be held at the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, in the capital of the Netherlands. The purpose of the EyeForTravel Amsterdam, held on the 28th and 29th November, is to discuss the European travel trends of the last two quarters of this year and inform about next year’s trends, which will be focused on “the next generation of data, technology, payments and distribution in travel”, as mentioned by EyeForTravel. There will be plenty of time to network with over 300 attendees and to consider new partnerships before entering the new year. As the EyeForTravel Amsterdam 2018 event date is in a few days, we will give you an overview of what to expect.

Who is this event for?

This event is the place to be for travel and service suppliers, OTA’s, CFO’s, CEO’s, managers and everyone else who is active in the European hospitality and travel sector. It is for those who want to improve their relationship with their loyal and potential customers. Still thinking whether to attend? Ask yourself this question: do you want to lead your company the customer-centric way? If yes, then this is the event to attend.

What can I do at the EyeForTravel event?

During the EyeForTravel event, split into 2 days, professionals will speak about diverse topics covering trends and practices in Smart Travel Analytics, Technology, Distribution and Partnerships, Marketing Analytics, Revenue Management and Travel Payments.

During the first day of the conference, the keynotes will focus on keeping loyal customers in the digital age where competitors can easily have access to them via different digital platforms. With easy access to mobile digital platforms, UI is crucial to delivering the best UX to create an impact on loyal customers, another discussion will be about on how to integrate AI mixed with human emotions into social media strategy and keep or attract customers.

On the second day, the scheduled keynotes will focus on digital transformations, incorporating AI within the company and mixing it with analytics, and how a traditional company keep customers loyal through customer-centric behaviour.

During these days, companies like KLM, Deutsche Bahn and lastminute.com will give insight about the before mentioned keynotes. Besides these keynotes, other companies will cover more topics including Blockchain, transforming dead data into useful information, GDPR in relation to loyalty and the experience economy. All this information has the purpose to take companies to the next level through implementation of the provided tips and become more profitable. Not to forget, there is room to connect with other attendees during network breaks and lunch sessions. At the end of the first day, EyeForTravel will hold a bigger network event – did we already mention something about a boat party?

Attending the EyeForTravel Amsterdam event will enrich you with the know-how to work on your company’s growth, customer loyalty and the KPI’s for next year. Besides that, you can go home with new connections and business relationships to excel with your company. You still have a few days to head to the official website of EyeForTravel for more information about the conference and the schedules and get your hands on your ticket.

By Santa Alcantara


EyeForTravel Amsterdam 2018 Brochure

Short Stay Citizens bij Business Nieuws Radio (BNR) - Video


Opgericht in 2017 zijn de oprichters, onder andere Oscar van Wel, klaar om de volgende stap te zetten, scaling-up. Gedurende een radio-uitzending bij Business Nieuws Radio (BNR) heeft Oscar van Wel het platform, shortstaycitizens.com, gepitched tegenover een angel investor en de radio luisteraars. “Wij denken dat wonen de volgende bedrijfskolom is die als een service kan worden aangeboden, zoals wij zeggen ‘Living as a Service’”, aldus Oscar van Wel, waar hij de visie van het bedrijf beschrijft wat in bovenstaande video te beluisteren en zien is.


The founders of Short Stay Citizens, founded in 2017, are ready to take the next step, scaling-up. During a radio broadcast on Business News Radio (BNR), the managing director Oscar van Wel has pitched the platform, shortstaycitizens.com, in front of an angel investor and radio listeners. “We think living is the next business column that can be offered as a service, as we say – ‘Living as a Service'”, says Oscar van Wel, where he describes the company’s vision which can be listened and watched in the video above (only in Dutch).

Understanding the business side of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, the young metropolis and populous modern city located on the continent of Asia, has the highest population and employment density in the world, with approximately 7.1 million and 6.788 people per square kilometres. Known to be one of the world’s leading financial centres, Hong Kong’s service-oriented economy is characterized by its low taxation, practically free port trade and a well-established international financial market.


On Hong Kong’s economic freedom. Hong Kong’s economic freedom is among the highest in the world, topping the economic freedom index by the Heritage Foundation for 20 years. As a competitive financial hub and business centre, Hong Kong continues to be one of the world’s resilient economies. The high-quality legal framework provides effective security of property rights and unequivocally bolsters the rule of law. There is little to no tolerance for corruption, and a high level of transparency enhances government integrity. The efficient practice of regulations and openness to global commerce uphold a dynamic entrepreneurial climate in Hong Kong. The linkage with mainland China is most visible with the finance and trading sectors.

The financial market. Positioning number one in the World Economic Forum’s Financial Development Index, Hong Kong carries a substantial and well developed financial system, composed of an integrated network of institutions and markets which provide an extensive range of products and services to local and international clients and investors. Hong Kong’s financial markets are portrayed as having a high degree of liquidity and operate under compelling and transparent regulations by the four financial regulators namely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The regulators oversee the banking, the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), insurance as well as securities and prospect enterprises individually, and help to maintain the financial stability of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has a well-developed and dynamic exchange market, the development of which has been stimulated by the absence of exchange controls in Hong Kong and its favoured time zone area. The currency market in Hong Kong consists primarily of the sizeable and dynamic interbank market where wholesale Hong Kong dollar reserves are transacted among banking establishments.

Hong Kong’s stock market was the 6th largest in the world and the third largest in Asia in terms of market capitalization recognized at the end of the year 2016. Hong Kong is known for raising IPO (“Initial Public Offering”) funds. The insurance sector in Hong Kong is large and diverse. Hong Kong’s insurance sector was ranked 4th for market penetration and 7th for insurance density ($4,719 per capita). The insurance sector includes 160 licensed insurers as of March 2018 and is mostly owned by organisations overseas.


So why do business in Hong Kong? Advocating free press, freedom of speech and abolishing economic barriers, such as tariffs, quotas and limitations on ethnic groups, Hong Kong maintains a list of non-restrictive rules and regulations and is accessible to the wide public. Some other significant advantages include the free flow of information, a skilled workforce, the infrastructure, taxes, geographical location, and a vibrant international lifestyle. The policy of minimum intervention towards the business industry makes Hong Kong a favourable region for doing business.



By Ismail el Kadiri







Business Travel: EyeforTravel Europe 2018

What is EyeforTravel Europe Summit?

As we steadily progress through 2018, Europe’s largest conference for hospitality and data-powered travel is at our doorstep bringing together the entire European travel industry under one roof. The event attracts a high attendance from various companies throughout the hospitality sector such as travel suppliers (hoteliers, airlines, car hire services, rail companies), intermediaries (specialised OTAs, tour operators, full-service OTAs, white label inventory, travel agents, metasearch and corporate travel), technology or service suppliers (marketing solutions, data solutions, consultants, as well as press associations and investors). Last year’s edition of the summit saw a high number of attendee seniority with speakers such as CEO’S, CMO’S, and managing directors from various enterprises associated with hospitality and travel (Hilton, Uber, Ryanair and Emirates). The 2018 edition will be held in June for a span of 3 days from 4th-6th at the Park Plaza Victoria, London.


Why should you attend this event?

A 450+ person event, EyeforTravel is setting the tone for promoting digital innovation as well as enabling partnerships that generate pure profit. The conference programme will be split into 3 days, each covering important aspects and trends regarding practices in marketing, distribution, technology, data and revenue management.


What topics will the conference cover?

EyeforTravel summit will kick on the 4th of June with the opening evening keynote set on how companies need to react to trend changes, means of creating brand loyalty as well as understanding and acknowledging the importance of digital takeover of the everyday business.  Brands such as Hilton, Booking.com and Airbnb are set to speak on its first day to share their knowledge of how travel is sold.

The second day is scheduled to cover the economic success of travel giants and how start-up enterprises can flourish.  Topics such as how companies are preparing for the future growth, influencing the traveller’s perception and also how companies can effectively make use of OTA’s to get maximum control of its data and profits.  In addition, the second day will host various speakers in 3 key sectors (distribution & partnerships; marketing and technology) to discuss the importance of these aspects that are behind every successful hospitality organization.

The event’s final day will target specific affairs that companies need to perfect in order to assure a steady and healthy growth. The data and analytics section will discuss in depth about the fusion between data and AI for a customer first approach, overcoming the implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) such as how to maintain the right processes in order to stay compliant as well as setting up the right visualisation of your brand in order to convert insight into profit.


Overall, EyeforTravel 2018 promises an intriguing event revolving around digital innovation and networking to further enhance the European market of the travel industry. With over 20 years of experience, the EyeforTravel organization understands the importance of business development and aim to share ideas for the relevant companies on various fields (technology, marketing, pricing and retail trends) as well as educating the future generations on the importance of the travel business present in today’s everyday life. For more information about the event or regarding the full summit schedule you can visit their official website.


By Catalin Neamtu, Short Stay Citizens 

Based on:


EyeforTravel 2018 official schedule brochure

The difference between professionally managed serviced apartments, privately owned apartments and hotel rooms

As many of you might already know, the serviced apartment industry has boomed in the past years and has almost reached its maturity. Yet, many people still struggle to understand the difference between a professionally managed serviced apartment, a hotel room and a privately owned apartment.

Short Stay Citizens, a serviced apartment platform, has developed in the past years with the sole purpose to supply serviced apartments, studios and suites to corporate travellers.  In order to help you in understanding the distinction between these types of properties, we want to share our expertise about the industry.


Professionally managed apartments

Generally speaking, these apartments are privately owned and available for both short and long stays. Its convenience becomes even greater when the apartment is booked for a longer period of time. Usually, they provide the same basic services as hotel rooms but additionally, they offer amenities such as fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms or living and working spaces. These extra amenities combined with a more personal touch and service, provide the perfect solution to corporate travels issues. Contrary to privately owned apartments, serviced apartments guarantee and provide full safety during the reservation process to allow the final user to arrive in a safe, organized and fully functional apartment. The companies providing such service enjoy a partnership with the owners of the apartments and this constitutes a fundamental reason why serviced apartments have become the number one choice for corporate travels.

In conclusion, the professionally managed apartments are those accommodations which make you feel at home even when you are far away.

Privately owned apartments

Privately owned apartments are essentially apartments owned by private individuals who decide to rent out those apartments to people. The main difference, in this case, is that these apartments could be rented out for a period much longer than you would expect from a serviced apartments. Therefore, the difference is in the way the apartment is managed by the owner. These accommodations will still include the basic amenities of an apartment in the majority of the cases, but they will not provide all the amenities and the same level of service as the professionally managed apartments.

Hotel rooms

Perhaps, it is the most common type of accommodation existing so far. Most of the people have stayed in a hotel room at least once and know what kind of services are offered by hotels. Although most of the basic services are similar to the ones offered in serviced apartments, they often lack the sufficient space needed by corporate travellers during their trips. It becomes even more important if the trips are extended to several months. For this reason, hotels are losing their grips and their attractiveness towards corporate travellers and their needs.

Are you planning on visiting London for your next business travel or anywhere else in the world? Contact Short Stay Citizens and reserve your next accommodation with us! We are happy to help you!


By Valerio Marinone, Short Stay Citizens

Based on:





The latest news in travel and serviced apartment industry


The serviced apartments market is already performing well, with expectations of more than 10,000 serviced apartments to be developed between 2017 and 2019. The UK alone is expected to open 2,000 serviced apartments this year. Not only are providers looking to expand across the land, but they now want to venture into space!

The US Hotelier Robert Bigelow, the owner of Budget Suites of America extended stay brand, will launch an ‘inflatable space hotel’ into orbit around the Earth by 2021. It will consist of two 17-meter models that will be linked and provide a capacity double that of the International Space Station. It is estimated that the cost will go into eight figures per passenger. The company mainly focuses on hotel suites in America.


The Serviced Apartment Summit Europe 2018, which is the only one of its kind in Europe, will take place at the Park Plaza Victoria, London on July 10th – 11th this year. It includes serviced apartments, extended stay hotels/aparthotels and short-term accommodation sectors. It has been hosted since 2013 and grows rapidly each year. It is stated that more than 350 CEOs and senior level delegates and speakers from all around the world will be present.


Looking at trends, in the future smart technologies will be used more and more frequently in homes for easier automation, regulation, comfort and being controlled remotely. There is also a risk that some consumers will prefer face-to-face interaction which could become a trend again if the world becomes too digitalized and people miss a personal touch. People are looking for modular and smaller apartments while maintaining the same facilities. It is possible to include a normal home (full kitchen, living and sleeping space) in under 20 sqm.

With global warming and environmental conditions becoming more extreme all around the world, serviced apartment providers must think about ‘green living’ due to stakeholder pressures. The stakeholder that is influencing the most change is legislation, as breaking the rules results in fines and penalties. And consumer demand for them, as consumers will drive their profits.

By 2020, people will more and more frequently suffer from insomnia. Solutions to this problem are projected to be an 80-billion-dollar industry by 2020. This includes facilities such as smart beds for regulating body temperature, as well as dream machines for monitoring and enhancing sleep. Hotels could take advantage of this by coming up with their own solutions to incorporate into hotels to help visitors with trouble sleeping. Short Stay Citizens accommodations are not equipped yet with the tech for this, but there are some ideal locations for getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. These can be in less crowded areas or at high locations to give visitors a sense of awe and looking at the big picture from above everyone else.

Virtual reality can be used for educational, facilitating research and entertainment purposes. Room prototypes can be tested with consumer groups in 3D, and virtual spaces could replace the residents’ lounge.


Looking at travel news, something to keep in mind (especially with global warming) are that different airports are equipped differently for dealing with snow. Sweden’s largest airport may have delays or restrict flights to only arrivals, but they have never fully shut down the airport. British airports can shut down for less severe problems, due to problems associated with the weather and not being able to deal with them. These can include clearing snow and ice, low visibility and needing to slow traffic levels to manage airport capacity while maintaining safety. Heathrow regularly runs at its full capacity, so small deviations have large ripples of effects due to little room for flexibility.


By Haris Wahid, Short Stay Citizens

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