In spite of depressed demand for business travel to Hong Kong in 2022, it remained the most expensive location in the region and was the 16th most expensive location globally, according to ECA International. Globally, New York remains the most expensive location in the world for business travel.
The average business trip to Hong Kong costs an overall total of USD 520 per day. This is a small decrease of USD 4 from last year's total. This was one of the findings of the latest Daily Rates research published by ECA International, the world's leading provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world.
"Hong Kong has always been one of the most expensive Asian locations to visit on business, and remains so", said Lee Quane, Regional Director - Asia at ECA International. "Business travel costs decreased in 2022, albeit slightly, due to low volumes of business travel demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a poorly performing economy."
Updated annually, ECA's Daily Rates reports provide average costs for hotel accommodation, which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance, as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi costs and daily essentials. This information is used by companies to determine daily expense allowances for staff who undertake business travel.
Singapore is now the second most expensive location in the region and the average daily cost of a business trip, at USD 515, is now only slightly cheaper than Hong Kong.
"Singapore overtook Tokyo in 2022 to become the second most expensive city in Asia to visit for business", said Quane. "Business travel in the city picked up earlier than most other regional locations."
Like Singapore, locations in Taiwan including Taipei and Hsinchu have risen in the rankings, with both locations entering the ranking of the ten most expensive business travel destinations in Asia.
"The rise in our rankings of Taipei is largely due to the fact that locations such as Yokohama, Beijing and Macau, which were all more expensive before the Covid-19 pandemic, are now relatively cheaper rather than Taipei becoming more expensive in absolute terms," noted Quane. "Nonetheless, as locations in Taiwan will expect to receive more business travellers this year, their guests will find Taiwan to be more expensive relative to other comparable destinations in the region."
Tokyo fell one place in the ranking and is now the third most expensive city to visit in Asia. Although daily costs for business travellers have increased in local currency terms in the past year, the depreciation of the yen against the US dollar has caused it to fall in the rankings.
"In local currency terms business travellers' costs rose by over 5% in Tokyo last year", explained Quane. "However, the weaker yen means that with average costs of USD 424 per day, the average daily cost of business travel is almost 20 per cent lower than in Hong Kong."
Elsewhere in Asia, inflation in many locations has contributed to significant increases in business travel costs in local currency terms even though business travel demand has not yet recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. Costs have risen most in countries such as Sri Lanka, Laos, Pakistan and Kazakhstan but have actually fallen in some key cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Globally, New York remains the most expensive location in the world for business travel, with the average per diem cost of a business trip standing at USD 796. Per Diem refers to an allowance that employers pay employees for each day they spend outside their usual work location to manage daily expenses.
"New York tops the rankings for yet another year as the cost associated with business travel has rebounded strongly over the course of a year", explained Quane. "A post-pandemic surge in demand for business travel and tourism to the Big Apple has contributed to an increase in accommodation costs. Furthermore, rates of inflation for other goods commonly consumed by business travellers contributed to a growth of 8 per cent in business travel costs."
New York is not an outlier in the USA with four of the ten most expensive locations globally for business travel found here. Switzerland is home to Europe's two most expensive cities for business travel, namely Geneva and Zurich and is followed by London, which is Europe's third most expensive and the eighth most expensive globally. Luanda is Africa's most expensive city and the ninth most expensive city globally. (ANI)