Hong Kong overtakes Tokyo as Asia-Pacific’s most expensive city

Hong Kong is the most expensive destination in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region for business travellers with a typical business trip costing US$508 per day, overtaking Tokyo which drops to second spot with an expenditure of US$501 per day. However, the average cost of a business trip to Singapore has increased to US$479 per day, which now ties for joint third place with Seoul. Busan follows with US$435 and Yokohama US$423, Dhaka US$417, Kobe US$415, Shanghai US$394 and Macao US$388, completing the top 10 in the list.

Although other 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 is low in Malaysia. Malaysia is the least expensive for international business travel, with Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru residing at the bottom of the rankings due to the continued weakness of the Ringgit against major currencies. The cost of a business trip to Kuala Lumpur is less than half of what it is in Hong Kong.  Hotel costs have risen slightly in the past 12 months, but the main reason for the rise in Singapore’s expenditure level is the increased cost of dining out in restaurants frequented by business travellers in the city. The average business trip to Bangkok now costs US$278 a day. Chinese cities have also seen an increase in cost for a standard business trip, with Shanghai now ranked as the ninth most expensive destination for business travel in the APAC region.

Lee Quane, regional director Asia for ECA International, who conducted the Daily Rates research, said in a statement: “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 US$508 per day on average.”