The economy of Singapore posted a healthy growth rate of 3.6% in 2022.
While it may be slowing down a bit in 2023, it’s still forecasted to grow between 0.5% and 2.5% this year. For a city-state to keep growing, international trade is crucial, and business travel remains an essential activity even after the Covid-19 pandemic.
A study by McKinsey highlights that Singaporeans see comfort, luxury, and travel for money as the three most important factors when travelling. Companies should consider these elements when planning and organizing business trips for their employees and representatives.
In this article, we will explore ten top corporate travel destinations for Singaporeans and offer some tips on how to get the most out of each trip.
In this article, we'll take a look at:
As one of the world’s most dynamic business cities and a major hub of international commerce, Hong Kong is an obvious top destination for Singaporean business travellers. Hong Kong’s highly developed financial system makes it a great place for Asian businesses that are in search of investors or funding in general. It is also extremely well-connected with Singapore, with numerous airlines offering non-stop 4-hour flights between the two cities.
Things that business travellers should keep in mind when travelling to this destination include the local business etiquette, which is all about being punctual and showing respect, and inbound control measures imposed by the government of the special administrative region of Hong Kong.
Ways to save money when planning and during your trip to Hong Kong include using the city’s efficient public transportation system instead of taxis and choosing the famous local street food spots over the city’s more expensive restaurants.
The Taiwanese economy has been growing steadily over the last few years. Taiwan is home to various tech giants, including TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor foundry. It also serves as an important base for many foreign companies in the region, which makes Taiwan one of the most frequent corporate travel destinations for Singaporeans. Taiwanese are known for their hospitality and friendly attitude towards visitors, which can greatly facilitate business relations.
Taiwan is a relatively safe country with a low violent crime rate by global standards. It also has a low rate of pretty crime, although pickpocketing and bag snatching have been known to occur in tourist areas.
While not as budget-friendly as Indonesia or Maylasia, Taiwan is more affordable than Singapore and Hong Kong. With proper planning, it is definitely possible to travel to Taiwan without stretching your budget.
As Mainland China’s major business centre, Shanghai is another great corporate destination for Singaporeans. Over the last decades, the city has experienced an incredible transformation and can now count on advanced infrastructure and a thriving economy that make it the 7th city in the world by GDP, ahead of major global centres like Chicago and the Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany.
Reasons for Singaporeans to travel to Shanghai for business include China’s status as Singapore’s major trading partner and the potential for Singaporean companies to establish a foothold in this fast-growing market.
When in Shanghai, the most frequent risks for visitors are pickpocketing and scams, while the risk of mugging is considered low. While Forbes expensive city in considers Shanghai the world’s most expensive city, planning in advance can help you find accommodation at reasonable prices.
Based on the 2022 Milken Institute Global Opportunity Index, Malaysia ranks first in Southeast Asia as the country with the greatest potential to attract foreign investors. Some of the fastest-growing industries in Malaysia are digital healthcare services, banking, and renewable energy. Singaporeans looking for opportunities in these sectors will find plenty in this country.
Malaysia has been increasing the number of visitors over the year and it’s considered a relatively safe place to travel to. Starting August 1, 2022, all travellers can enter Malaysia regardless of their Covid-19 status and are not required to take a test upon arrival.
Travelling to Malaysia is extremely affordable. Accommodation, food and transportation are all available at very reasonable prices. The only exception is alcohol, which is relatively expensive in the country.
As one of the fastest-growing economies on the planet, Indonesia is a brilliant ASEAN destination for Singaporeans who want business opportunities in the region. In particular, the country’s Ecommerce sector has been outperforming that of its neighbours, and the number of start-ups in this field is multiplying. The food and textile industries are also very developed, making Indonesia a preferred destination for Singaporeans working in these fields.
The level of safety in Indonesia may vary from area to area, with Bali, Lombok, Malang, and Bandung ranking among the safest cities in the country.
Indonesia has also been voted as one of the cheapest countries to travel to in the region.
San Francisco is one of the major US cities that Singaporeans can reach faster. It’s one of America’s largest tech hubs and it’s home to some of the world’s most famous companies in the world, like s Facebook and Apple.
Reasons for Singaporeans to San Francisco to the least of their corporate travel destinations may include attending tech conferences, exploring potential partnerships, or launching products within the US.
Statistically, crime in San Francisco tends to be lower than the national average. However, visitors should be aware of the possibility of pickpocketing and car break-ins.
Keep in mind that, as of March 2023, the US still requires proof of vaccination from all non-US citizens and nonimmigrants travelling to the country.
The capital of South Korea is currently the city with the fourth highest GDP on the planet, right after Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles. It is home to many global companies, such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai.
Singaporeans may travel to Seoul to reinforce ties with South Korean suppliers or clients, as well as explore the many opportunities offered by this global tech hub.
Seoul is mostly a safe city for travellers, although it’s always a good idea to watch out for petty crime.
South Korea currently doesn’t require visitors to show proof of vaccination, and Singapore passport holders don’t need a VISA if they travel to the country for up to 90 days. However, they’ll have to apply for a Korea Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA).
Over the last couple of decades, Thailand has made impressive improvements, both economically and socially. It’s one of the most promising countries in the Asia Pacific region, making it a preferred business destination for Singapore’s travellers.
Thanks also to foreign investment, the country has become a regional hub in the automotive industry, and it is also a major exporter of electronic appliances and components. Financial services and tourism are also particularly developed. A Singaporean business traveller may want to visit the country to strengthen regional ties with local suppliers and clients, as well as explore business opportunities in the area.
Thailand is considered a safe destination to visit, and travellers should mostly watch out for petty crime. It’s also a very affordable destination for Singaporeans, and a high travel budget is not required to visit the country.
As Australia’s largest financial hub, Sydney is one of the most popular business travel routes from Singapore. It hosts some of the planet’s most innovative companies, and it is a centre of excellence in the fields of finance, health care, and technology. Reasons to travel there include attending business events, managing client or supplier relations, finding potential investors, and looking into local business opportunities.
Sidney is one of the safest cities in Australia, with statistical data showing a very low risk for travellers to be the victim of a crime.
Australia currently doesn’t require travellers to show proof of vaccination to enter the country.
As one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Dubai is particularly well-known for its thriving business opportunities. From luxury hotels to safe investments, Dubai offers a wide range of possibilities for Singaporean businesses interested in exploring new markets or strengthening partnerships and relations with local clients and suppliers.
The city is considered relatively safe, even though visitors should be aware of the risk of pickpocketing.
While the city is quite expensive on average, you should be able to contain your expenses by using the metro and looking for accommodation in a more affordable neighbourhood.
When managing business travel, Singapore companies must make sure that each trip to each destination fulfils its business objective and contributes to the company’s overall strategy.
A modern corporate travel management platform like TruTrip can help you take control of every aspect of the journey, from choosing the most convenient travel arrangement to monitoring compliance with the company’s travel policy to making sure that employees stay safe d productive during their business trips.
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