Singapore's business travel costs nearly as high as Hong Kong

But elsewhere in Southeast Asia, daily costs for business travel in remains stable.

Singapore has risen in ECA's 2022 ranking for business trip costs, coming in second behind Hong Kong.
Singapore has risen in ECA's 2022 ranking for business trip costs, coming in second behind Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/hallojulie

Singapore is now the second most expensive Asian destination for business trips, surpassing Tokyo in 2022 and only just behind Hong Kong.

Strong demand for the destination has contributed to rising prices for hotel accommodation, alongside costs associated with other daily essentials consumed by business travellers.

This is according to research from ECA, a provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

The average business trip to Hong Kong costs an overall total of USS520 per day. This is a small decrease of US$4 compared to last year’s total. The average daily cost of a business trip to Singapore comes in at US$515, only slightly cheaper than Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong has always been one of the most expensive Asian locations to visit on business, and remains so”, said Lee Quane, regional director, Asia at ECA International. “Singapore overtook Tokyo in 2022 to become the second most expensive city in Asia to visit for business, with business travel in the city picking up earlier than most other regional locations.”

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

The top 10 ranking features Hong Kong in first place, followed by Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Dhaka, Taipei, Beijing, Yokohama and Hsinchu.

Quane said Taipei’s rise 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.

Daily costs in Southeast Asian locations remain stable due to slow post-pandemic recovery, with no other city breaking into the global top 100.

On a global basis, New York remains the most expensive location in the world for business travel, with the average cost of a business trip standing at US$796, with Geneva, Washington, Zurich and San Francisco making up the top five. Singapore ranks 19th in the global list.

ECA provides average costs for hotel accommodation, which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance, as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi costs and daily essentials.