In a report by ECA International, a global consulting firm specializing in providing data and software solutions for international assignment management, Singapore has overtaken Tokyo as the second most expensive place for business travelers in Asia. An average trip costs US $515($689.42) per day.
Singapore’s decision to remove travel restrictions early compared to other locations in Asia seems to have triggered the sudden demand for travel, making it the second most expensive location for business travelers. The boost in demand resulted in price hikes across the city, in accommodations, and other daily essentials for business travelers.
In comparison to last year, the cost of business travel to Singapore, on average, has risen by US$34($45.52). The trips cost 10% more per day if measured in local currency. While the cost seems to have increased in Singapore, the case is not the same for some locations in the region. High inflation rates have increased business travel costs in most countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Laos, while the opposite was seen in cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
On the other hand, Tokyo fell behind Singapore to come in third place despite its daily costs for business travelers increasing in local currency terms. The decline comes after the yen’s depreciation against the US dollar, which affected the rankings of several cities across Japan. Popular tourist destinations in ASEAN saw little to no change in travel expenses in 2022, with travel costs rising slightly in local currency terms.
Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International in a statement said that cities in Thailand like Pattaya and Chiang Mai, along with Denpasar in Indonesia witnessed small rates of growth in local currency terms ranging between 1% and 3%. Furthermore, the hotel rates seem to have been subdued because of low demand when compared to pre-pandemic levels, and even a tourist hub like Bangkok, which received scores of business travelers, only saw a mere 4% increase in costs, placing it well out of the top 100 most expensive business travel destinations last year.
New York maintains its position as the most expensive location in the world for business travel with an average cost of a business trip at US$796. The city saw a post-pandemic surge in business travel and tourism, along with inflation which resulted in price hikes on goods used by business travelers. This has contributed to an 8% growth in business travel costs.
The USA locations continued their domination in this year’s global top 10 list, while Switzerland was home to the two most expensive locations in Europe – Zurich and Geneva. Business hubs like Paris and London stood tall in their positions. The list was completed with Luanda, Angola being the most expensive city in Africa.
About ECA International
ECA International is a leading provider of knowledge, information, and technology that allows businesses to manage their international reward programs. It provides a fully integrated suite of quality data, consultancy, specialist software, and training. Their insights guide clients as they mobilize their most valuable resource: people.
ECA’s Daily Rates reports, updated annually, provide average costs for hotel accommodations. This includes the cost of meals, drinks, laundry, taxi costs, and daily essentials, which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance. The companies use this information to determine the daily expense allowances for employees that undertake business travel.