Hongkong Symphony of LightsHong Kong is the most expensive location for business travellers, overtaking Tokyo which drops to second in the rankings, according to 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.

Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia for ECA International said, “Although Hong Kong has overtaken Tokyo in the rankings, 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 USD 508 per day on average.”

Singapore is now the joint third most expensive Asian location for business travel. The average cost of a business trip to Singapore has increased to USD 479 per day, compared with USD 472 in 2016.

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 transport and daily essentials. This information is used by companies to determine daily expense allowances for staff who undertake business travel.

Meanwhile, the cheapest region for international business travel continues to be Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru remaining at the bottom of the rankings. 

“The continued weakness of the Malaysian Ringgit against major currencies has ensured that the cost of business travel in Malaysia is cheaper than elsewhere in Asia,” adds Quane. “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 with the cost of a business trip to Kuala Lumpur being less than half of what it is in Hong Kong.”

10 most expensive locations for business travel in Asia
Location
2017 ranking
2016 ranking
Hong Kong
1
2
Tokyo, Japan
2
1
Singapore
=3
4
Seoul, South Korea
=3
3
Busan, South Korea
5
8
Yokohama, Japan
6
6
Dhaka, Bangladesh
7
5
Kobe, Japan
8
7
Shanghai, China
9
13
Macau
10
10

Although Hong Kong is Asia’s most expensive location for business travel, it ranks outside of the top 10 locations globally, significantly cheaper than first placed New York where the average business trip would cost a total of USD 793 per day. See the global rankings here