Hong Kong is now the most expensive location for business travellers, having overtaken Tokyo which drops to second spot, revealed the latest Daily Rates research published by ECA International.
Lee Quane, regional director – Asia for ECA International, said in a statement: “This change is mostly due to the overall price of business travel in Japan decreasing in dollar terms after the yen fell in value over the course of 2017. The cost of business travel in Hong Kong has remained unchanged from last year with the typical business trip now costing US$508 per day on average.”
However, the average cost of a business trip to Singapore has increased to US$479 per day, up from US$472 in 2016, which now puts the city state a joint third with Seoul for most expensive Asian location for business travel.
Quane said: “Hotel costs have risen slightly in the past 12 months, but the main reason for Singapore’s rise has been the increased cost of eating out in restaurants frequented by business travellers in the city over the past year.”
Meanwhile, the cheapest region for international business travel remains Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru residing at the bottom of the rankings due to the continued weakness of the ringgit against major currencies.
“Although fellow ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and Cambodia have cities which rank amongst the cheapest in the region for business travel, the cost of business travel remains low in Malaysia. The cost of a business trip to Kuala Lumpur is less than half of what it is in Hong Kong,” said Quane.
The Thai cities that were included in the survey all saw a slight increase in business travel costs, with Bangkok moving into the top 50 for the first time. The average business trip to Thailand’s capital now costs US$278 a day.
Chinese cities have also seen an increase in cost for a standard business trip, with Shanghai now ranked as the ninth most expensive location for business travel in the region.
Over the past 12 months, it has become more costly for business travellers who visit Chinese cities as prices of goods and services commonly consumed by this segment has increased. Despite the increase, Shanghai is still cheaper than Hong Kong and Tokyo for business, and is over US$100 a day less expensive on average.