Hong Kong and Singapore were the destinations most frequently visited by business travellers in the first half of 2011, according to a survey by Accor. The two Asian economic hubs were both visited by 38% of respondents, ahead of Thailand (29%), China (28%) and Malaysia (24%). For intended travel in the second half of 2011, Singapore and Hong Kong continue to lead the way at 39% and 38% respectively. Thailand and China are joint third at 29%.
China leads the way for travel to Hong Kong, with almost three-quarters of surveyed corporate travellers from the mainland reporting that they visited Hong Kong in H1 (73%) or have the intention of doing so in H2 (72%). Likewise 68% of Indonesian executives surveyed cited Singapore as the predominant business travel destination. These trends are consistent with the observation that countries tend to gravitate towards their geographical neighbours. For example Australia is a major hub for New Zealand business travellers, as Singapore is for Malaysians.
Evan Lewis, Vice President of Communications for Accor Asia Pacific, said; “Based on findings from our survey, business travellers have told us that Singapore is expected to be the top business travel destination in the second half of 2011, thus reinforcing the city’s position as a key business hub for Asia Pacific.”
Another interesting observation is that though Singapore ranks second in destinations frequented by Hong Kong’s business travellers in the first half of 2011. This trend is not reciprocated however, with Hong Kong ranking fourth for Singaporean business travellers. External business matters (as opposed to internal company matters and attending trade shows) were the overriding purpose for trips into Singapore (46%) and Hong Kong (44%).
In terms of outbound travel, business travellers from Hong Kong have cited China as the primary business travel destination with 79% of those interviewed making trips there in H1 2011. For Singapore, both Malaysia and Thailand emerged as the top destinations (57% and 49%). Hong Kong’s business executives ranked fourth with outbound business travel volumes averaging 6.8 regional trips in H1. Singapore’s executives come in third with outbound business travel averaging 7.1. The average for the Asia Pacific region was 6.3 trips in the first half. Budget wise, there was no clear distinction between Hong Kong’s executives, who averaged US$132 per room night, and Singapore’s business travellers at US$134. Business travellers from Australia are the highest spenders at US$158.