The Most Expensive Cities for Business Travel in 2018

Where is the most expensive place to send your employees for a business trip?

There is no doubt that business travel is on the rise worldwide. After year-on-year growth of 3.5% in 2016, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts that the corporate travel sector is going to grow by a further 6.1% and 7% in 2019 and 2020.

Using data from BTN’s Corporate Travel Index, Expert Market has produced a visualization of the most expensive cities for business travel, including the daily cost of accommodation, taxis or car rental and food. The map examines American cities and Non-US cities to find out how the US stacks up against its international neighbors.

The data shows that 5 out of 10 of the most expensive cities for business trips in the world are right here in the US which includes New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington and Chicago.

New York ranked in 1st place overall

The findings revealed that business trips to New York are the most expensive in the world, costing companies a staggering $549 per employee per day. Hotel accommodation emerged as the big ticket item in the Big Apple, totalling $385 per night.

Bakersfield in southern California is the cheapest American city for business travel at $241 per day; more than double the cost of the same trip to New York.

United States Most Expensive CitiesClick image above to see full sized

Non-US Cities - Tokyo is number one but Europe dominates the top spots

When looking at the figures for cities outside of the US, Tokyo came out as the costliest. Travelers can expect to spend up to $489 for every day that they visit the Japanese capital, with taxis alone costing $133 per day.

Swiss cities Zurich, Basel and Geneva emerged as the most expensive in Europe, costing $472, $443 and $432, respectively. Meanwhile, business trips to Europe’s fintech capital, London, came in at $467 per day.

Non-United States Most Expensive CitiesClick image above to see full sized

Table: Top 20 Most Expensive Cities in the World

CityTotal in USD
New York£549
San Francisco$534
Boston$511
Tokyo$489
Zurich$472
London$467
Washington DC$462
Chicago$444
Basel$443
Geneva$432
Los Angeles$420
San Jose Calif.$419
Hong Kong$417
Seattle$412
Honolulu$411
Tel Aviv$409
Kuwait City$408
Riyadh$400
Osaka-Kobe$398
Santa Barbara, Calif.$396
Paris$395

Consumer Preferences - How is Corporate Travel Changing?

International business trips have traditionally been perceived as a huge inconvenience at both the professional and personal level. But there is is now an interesting trend emerging - the rise of “bleisure trips”, i.e. mixing business with pleasure. Wanderlust millennials are seizing opportunities to see new parts of the world by extending their work trips into the weekend or even using vacation days.

The biggest change, however, is how people like to spend their time when overseas for work. Airbnb says changing behaviours of the younger workforce, who are seeking out more authentic experiences, are leading this shift. In an interview with CNBC in 2016, the online accommodation marketplace claimed they had signed key partnerships with big name brands including Google and Morgan Stanley, proving that businesses are now more open to alternative private rentals instead of traditional hotels.

This year Airbnb created a brand new category specifically targeted at corporate travelers. Visitors can browse through curated lists of homes that have all the amenities someone might need if they were working remotely, including 24/7 self check-in, WiFi and workspace for a laptop.

Check out the 2016 rankings

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