SINGAPORE, 1 September: The cheapest location in the Asia-Pacific region for business travel is Kuala Lumpur while Singapore is the fifth most expensive location, according to the findings of a research undertaken on daily rates.
Published by ECA International, the world’s leading provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world, the findings revealed that Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Bandar Seri Begawan were the only other capital cities ranked within the top 10 cheapest locations for business travel in Asia.
“As major business travel and tourist destinations, it is surprising to see Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok within the top 10 cheapest locations in the region.
“A combination of generally low living costs, relatively cheap accommodation options for business travellers and weak currency against the US dollar have contributed to these locations being where they are in our rankings,” said ECA International regional director for Asia, Lee Quane.
Updated annually, the report provides average cost for hotel accommodation, which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance, as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi transport and daily essentials.
Quane said costs commonly incurred during the course of business trips include accommodation, transport, meals and day-to-day necessities.
“With this in mind, the total costs incurred by a business traveller in the region is the fifth highest in Singapore,” he added.
Singapore’s regional rival, Hong Kong, secured top position in this year’s rankings.
While the cost of a typical meal out and incidental expenditure is more expensive in Singapore, higher costs associated with hotel accommodation in the Special Administrative Region contributed to its position as the most expensive location in the Asia Pacific to undertake a business trip.
“Room rates in Singapore are among the highest out of the locations we surveyed in the region.
“Looking at four-star hotel accommodation, rates here are the seventh highest in the region, approximately 20% lower than comparable accommodation in the most expensive location, Hong Kong,” said Quane.
When hotel costs are excluded, the most expensive locations in the region that are visited by employees are slightly different.
Singapore rose to fourth place in the region, overtaking Dhaka, where a shortage of suitable accommodation contributed to the high rates charged for hotel rooms.
Dhaka moved down to the 24th most expensive location in the region when hotel rates are excluded. Hong Kong fell to eighth position.
— THE SUN