High hotel rates, inadequate business-class hotel rooms and a surging currency combined to bring Hong Kong back to a familiar territory: becoming the most expensive destination for business travelers.
The ranking was released from an annual survey conducted by ECA International, a human resources consultancy firm.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh came in second, followed by Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Busan and Macau.
“Costs commonly incurred during the course of business trips include accommodation, transport, meals and day-to-day necessities,” advised Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia for ECA International. “With this in mind, we have seen that the total costs incurred by a business traveller in the region are highest in Hong Kong.”
This puts a damper on the city’s aspirations as a convention and trade fair hub, even as competitors such as the mainland, Japan and Malaysia, currently the cheapest among the list of cities compared, are setting up competitive hotel rates for business travelers.
Quane conceded that the high real estate costs in Hong Kong were “a fact of life”.
The limited volume of rooms deemed suitable for business travelers have empowered hoteliers to push up prices. Quane cited that a four-star hotel in Hong Kong is priced at US$300 a night, ranks second-highest in the region. But Polytechnic University’s Brian King disagrees, saying that average rates in Hong Kong have dropped by 6 per cent between 2014 and last year, citing government data.
Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the rising US dollar, made the city less competitive than before, Quane added.
Last year, the firm identified Busan, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Perth and Hong Kong as the most expensive cities in Asia Pacific.