When it comes to business travel in Asia, Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in the region and was the 16th most expensive location globally despite depressed demand for business travel to the city in 2022, said ECA International recently.
The average business trip to Hong Kong costs an overall total of US$ 520 per day, a small decrease of US$4 from last year’s total, according to the firm.
“Hong Kong has always been one of the most expensive location and remains so when it comes to business travel in Asia”, said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International. “Business travel costs decreased in 2022, albeit slightly, due to low volumes of business travel demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a poorly performing economy.”
- Singapore is now the second most expensive location in the region and the average daily cost of a business trip, at US$ 515, is now only slightly cheaper than Hong Kong.
- 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.
- 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.
- However, the weaker yen means that with average costs of US$424 per day.
- 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, ECA pointed out.
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, the firm noted.
Business travel expenses were more than 75% higher in local currency terms in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2022 in comparison to the year before, said Quane.
This is due to high inflation and currency depreciation since some costs associated with business travel, such as hotel costs, are incurred in US dollars by foreign business travellers here, he explained.
At the other end of scale, the fall in costs for business travellers in China has been largely due to falling hotel costs associated with a drop in demand for business travel last year, he added.
In spite of this, Shanghai is nonetheless the fourth most expensive location when it comes to business travel in Asia, Quane observed.