The past year has been a tumultuous one. The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up the world economy. Its impact on tourism, business travel and in-person conventions and conferences is likely to permanently scar the world’s aviation and business hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong. In addition, disruptive political changes such as Brexit’s impact on London and Hong Kong’s travails could undermine these global centres. And as the competition for the global hub business has been heating up as well, some ambitious governments are taking aggressive steps to outpace or even displace their rivals.
At one level, these convulsions seem to imply difficult times for London, Hong Kong and Dubai. By extension, this could mean possible upsides for Singapore too. However, global cities are extraordinarily resilient creatures and do not simply fade away when the going gets tough. They tend to fight back and the result could be little change in the ranking of global cities but a heck of a lot more competition.
How bad could the long-term Covid-19 impact be?