Our business travel poll had 540 responses last week - a record for this poll. The initial questions were changed this year to ask our readers whether they thought SARS was coming back and if so whether it would cause as many problems as before. The results are below.
As usual the poll tracks your favourite hotels in Asia's leading cities and gained your views on airlines and where they could improve. Full results will appear in the November issue of FinanceAsia magazine. As a taster, you voted the Ritz-Carlton Millennia (Singapore) as your favourite business hotel in Asia once again; the Blue Canyon, Phuket as your favourite Asian golf course, the Banyan Tree Phuket as your favourite spa resort and Chep Lap Kok beat out Changi as your favourite airport in Asia by 221 votes to 214. You voted Shangri-la the best hotel chain in Asia.
In previous years we have asked respondents to rank their favourite airlines, but it always turns into a face-off between Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. This time therefore we simply asked which of the two airlines had better business and first class services. In business class - which both have recently renovated - Singapore Airlines got 268 votes versus 171 for Cathay; in first class, Singapore Airlines got 210 votes versus 123 for Cathay. About 64% of all poll respondents said they normally fly first or business class.
Likewise, we asked you whether you felt the new, soon-to-be opened Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong would have a major impact on existing five star hotels - especially given it is the first new hotel on HK Island in nearly a decade. Just over 50% said existing hotels should be worried about losing business to the Four Seasons, with 16.5% undecided and the remainder saying they shouldn't be worried. When asked which hotel was likely to suffer the greatest loss of business from the opening of the Four Seasons, the overwhelming choice was the Mandarin Oriential with 191 votes.