At $452 a day, Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world (and was in 1997 at $474 per day) for the business and meeting travelers in 1998. On the other hand, travel to Canada is the best bargain, with per-diem expenses as low as $97 in Hamilton, Ontario. So says the Runzheimer Guide to Daily Travel Prices, published by the Rochester, Wis.based management consulting firm Runzheimer International.

On the high side, just behind Hong Kong is Moscow at $430; Buenos Aires, London, and New Delhi are also close in the running at $409, $406, and $392 respectively. After Hamilton, the least-expensive city on the list, was London, Ontario, at $109, followed by Edmonton, Alberta; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Ottawa. For the first year ever, Tokyo--due to a strong U.S. dollar and a weaker Japanese yen--did not emerge as one of the top ten most expensive cities.

The Runzheimer Guide bases its per-diem estimates on business travel expenses, including meals and lodging.