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Asia: Hong Kong top for business travel costs

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HONG KONG, 22 March 2022: Despite 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.

That was one of the findings of the latest Daily Rates research published by ECA International, an information and software provider for the management and assignment of employees worldwide.

The average business trip to Hong Kong costs USD520 per day. This is a small decrease of USD4 from last year’s total.

“Hong Kong has always been one of the most expensive Asian locations to visit on business and remains so”, said ECA International regional director Asia Lee Quane.

“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 calculates the average hotel accommodation costs, which comprise the bulk of any daily allowance, as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi costs and daily essentials. Companies use this information to determine daily expense allowances for business travel staff.

Asia Highlights

Singapore is now the second most expensive location in the region and the average daily cost of a business trip, at USD515, 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. This increased demand contributed to rises in hotel accommodation costs, and costs associated with other daily essentials consumed by business travellers also increased faster than other locations in the region, propelling it to second place in the region and 19th place worldwide”.

Like Singapore, locations in Taiwan, including Taipei and Hsinchu, have risen in the rankings, with both locations entering the ranking of Asia’s 10 most expensive business travel destinations.

“The rise in our rankings of Taipei is mainly because locations such as Yokohama, Beijing and Macau, which were all more expensive before the Covid-19 pandemic, are now relatively cheaper, making Taipei more expensive in absolute terms,” noted Quane.

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 yen’s depreciation against the US dollar has caused it to fall in the rankings.

Elsewhere in Asia, inflation in many locations has significantly increased business travel costs in local currency, 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 fallen in some key cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. New York topped the global chart for the highest business travel costs.

About ECA International

ECA International provides knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

ECA’s Daily Rates for business travellers help organisations to anticipate the cost of business trips and short-term assignments. The Daily Rates reports for 2022-23 are available for 457 locations in 196 countries. Data was collected in 2022 and published in December 2022.

For the full report, visit https://www.eca-international.com/news/march-2023/hk-most-expensive-location-in-asia-business-travel.

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