Bangkok business travel cost rises to $278 a day
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Bangkok business travel cost rises to $278 a day

The cost of business travel to Bangkok has risen moderately by 4%, making it the 24th most expensive destination in Asia, while Singapore ranks second after Hong Kong this year, says ECA International (ECA).

According to the Daily Rates report by ECA, the typical daily cost of business travel to Bangkok has risen to US$278 a day. The marginal uptick was caused by a slower post-coronavirus-pandemic recovery in popular Thai cities.

Lee Quane, regional director, said cities such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai all witnessed small rates of growth in local currency terms in 2022, ranging from 1-3%. Meanwhile, hotel rates have been suppressed by low demand compared to pre-pandemic levels.

In 2023, Bangkok's rank for business travel cost declined from the previous year. The Thai capital fell four spots from 20th in Asia and placed 142nd globally, a drop from 132nd.

The ECA's annual report provides average costs for hotel accommodation, which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance for staff who undertake business travel, including meals, drinks, laundry, taxis and daily essentials.

Regionally, Singapore became the second-most expensive city to visit for business in Asia and 19th place worldwide, overtaking Tokyo in 2022 after its early lifting of travel restrictions led to a rise in demand for travel to the city. The average business trip to Singapore now costs $515 a day, rising $34 from a year earlier.

"The resulting increase in demand contributed to rises in hotel accommodation costs, while costs associated with other daily essentials consumed by business travellers also increased at a faster rate than other locations in the region," said Mr Quane.

Tokyo dropped to the third most expensive location in the region. Although the daily costs for business travellers to the Japanese capital rose by over 5% in local currency terms, they were offset by the yen's depreciation against the US currency, leading to the decline of several cities across Japan in this year's rankings.

Rising inflation and currency depreciation also contributed to significant increases in business travel costs in local currency terms, with costs rising over 75% in countries like Sri Lanka, Laos and Pakistan, although the inverse was seen in some cities in China.

According to the study, the decline in costs for business travellers in China has been largely due to falling hotel costs associated with decreasing demand for business travel last year. In 2023, Shanghai climbed from fifth place to fourth in Asia.

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