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Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 17:50

HK ranked costliest Asian city for business travel

By Li Xiange

HONG KONG - Hong Kong is the most costly location in Asia for business travel, which might make the city less appealing to investors, human resources consultancy ECA International announced on Wednesday.

Hong Kong’s average daily rate for business travel amounts to about $500, ranking top among 25 regional locations analyzed by ECA. South Korea and Singapore got second and third place, respectively, according to the report.

High hotel prices are the main reason for Hong Kong's top ranking. Room rates in Hong Kong are among the highest of the locations surveyed in the region.

"Accommodation costs are approximately 20 percent higher than comparable accommodation in locations such as Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo,” regional director of the consultancy Lee Quane said.

However, when hotel costs are excluded Hong Kong falls to eighth, with Seoul and Tokyo securing the top two rankings, respectively. This reflects the general high cost of goods and services in those two cities, combined with difficulties for business travelers in accessing local restaurants, Quane explained.

Quane said Hong Kong is traditionally expensive for business travel because of high real estate prices. Supply and demand also influence the cost. Quane said Hong Kong has a relatively small supply of business hotels – which are mainly four-star hotels – which also contributes to the high cost.

The high cost for business travelers may exert a negative impact on investment in Hong Kong. Due to the high prices, business travelers may choose to spend less time in Hong Kong. The limited time may reduce investment when compared with more leisurely client meetings in less costly places, Quane added.

Hong Kong’s ability to attract conventions or trade fairs may also be influenced. Alternatives like Guangzhou or Zhuhai may be considered instead, Quane said.

Kuala Lumpur is the cheapest city in Asia for business travel, according to the report.

The report is conducted annually to help companies to anticipate the cost of business trips and short-term assignments.

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