HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Is business travel in Singapore getting more expensive?

A business trip costs an average of US$472 per day.

Singapore has climbed up a notch from its previous rank to become the fourth most expensive location in the Asia Pacific for business travel, according to the latest Daily Rates research published by ECA International, a global provider of knowledge, information and software for employee management and assignment.

Updated annually, ECA’s Daily Rates reports provide average costs for hotel accommodation, which make up the bulk of any daily allowance, as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi transport, and daily essentials. This information is used to determine daily expense allowances for staff who undertake business travel.

“Costs associated with accommodation for business travellers have risen in Singapore in the past year and are amongst the highest in the region,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia for ECA International. Lee, however, noted that four-star hotel accommodation is still approximately 16 percent lower than in Tokyo, the most expensive location.

Following Tokyo, the next most expensive business travel destinations are Hong Kong and Seoul. The cheapest location, meanwhile, is Johor Bahru in Malaysia.

The cost of a typical meal and incidental expenditure are actually more expensive in Singapore than in Hong Kong, but the latter’s higher accommodation costs contribute to its second-place ranking.

The report also highlighted that costs associated with other expenses such as meals, transport and incidental expenditure are cheaper in Singapore. When hotel costs are excluded, Singapore’s ranking falls to seventh, with Tokyo remaining as the most expensive followed by Seoul, Yokohama, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Kobe.

“It’s important companies review allowances or reimbursement rates for travelling employees regularly to make sure they are neither under- nor over-compensating for business trips,” Quane advised. 

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