Top 10 cities for business travelers worldwide
Business trips are simply part of modern business life. Although there are now many more opportunities to communicate and collaborate virtually, there is no substitute for face-to-face contact. If you want to present your company appropriately, you send your employees to global business travel destinations on all continents, visits to which are often crucial for economic success.
The most common destinations for business trips
So where do most business travelers actually go? Vienna is one of the top cities for business meetings. There are many international institutions and companies here, many of which have established their Eastern European offices in the Austrian capital. Above all, Vienna is an established congress city. This is impressively demonstrated by the world ranking of congress cities published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Vienna is in first place, followed by Lisbon and Paris. Other popular cities for congress events are Barcelona, Prague and Madrid.
The best cities for business travelers in the USA
Outside Europe, most congresses take place in the USA. In addition to congress tourism, New York in particular is a frequent destination for business travelers. The metropolis has a special status among business-friendly cities in the USA. The most populous and financially strongest city in the USA is not only an important financial center, but also home to numerous important companies. This also applies to Boston, which benefits as a global business travel destination from its proximity to the renowned Harvard University. San Francisco is also one of the best cities for business travelers in the USA, boasting an impressive number of tech start-ups. Other top cities for business meetings based on the number of flight bookings are Los Angeles and Chicago.
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Asia on the rise, London is losing ground
The most popular international destinations since the end of the coronavirus restrictions have been Shanghai, China's leading trade center, as well as Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. The picture is different when you look at London. The metropolis has lost ground in the ranking of business-friendly cities since Brexit. Noticeably fewer business trips are now being booked to London, even though the city still ranks second in popularity according to Expedia. Number 3 among the top business travel cities is Paris, whose La Défense business district continues to be a magnet.
According to Egencia, the business travel division of Expedia, destinations such as Mexico City, São Paulo and Casablanca are also on the rise. Although they are not among the best or most popular cities for business travelers, they open the door to increasingly important markets.
Most business travelers stay in the country
Business travel does not necessarily go hand in hand with global destinations. Most of the top business travel cities are located within Germany. Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt am Main are particularly well ahead in this respect. Hamburg is also one of the most business-friendly cities and is correspondingly popular with business travelers. These top business travel cities also score points with accommodation options such as business hotels and serviced apartments that are increasingly tailored to the needs of this target group.
The most expensive destinations for business trips
Many of the best cities for business travelers are located in Switzerland, which is quite expensive. Geneva, for example, is considered a particularly expensive city when it comes to catering costs. According to Statista, these cost an average of 200 US dollars per day. Those traveling to Zurich or Basel also have to dig deep into their pockets. Shanghai is in second place when it comes to expensive food at around 180 dollars a day. The top business travel cities London, Paris and Copenhagen are also particularly expensive if you include not only meals but also accommodation. If the USA is the global business travel destination, it can be even more expensive. Here, New York takes first place in terms of costs for business travelers. Business travelers pay an average of almost 700 US dollars per day.
Business travel is back in fashion
These high costs are one reason why the more expensive top cities for business meetings are being booked much more carefully today than they were a few years ago. This is not only due to cost pressure, but also to the increased use of digital communication. And, of course, the industry has not yet fully recovered from the Covid-19-related slump.
However, many business-friendly cities are now tempting business travelers to hop on a plane again. Business travel activity has recovered strongly, even if the 2019 level has not yet been fully reached. Experts expect a further slight increase in this segment in the coming years. The only moderate increase is due to the fact that many companies have replaced trips to global business destinations with digital alternatives during the coronavirus pandemic. Video conferences or meetings via Zoom and Skype are now part of everyday life and are making many face-to-face meetings obsolete.
Many top cities for business meetings will probably only be visited virtually in the future, but this will not necessarily be reflected in companies' travel budgets. For example, a survey by the Global Business Travel Association shows that 75 percent of those responsible for business travel expect travel budgets to remain the same or increase over the next few years. Most do not expect personal visits to the top cities for business meetings to fall victim to the red pencil entirely.
Bleisure traveling combines duty and pleasure
This optimism also has to do with the fact that the best cities for business trips are ideally also those that make the trip more than just a compulsory one. Surveys show that many more employees than expected enjoy their business trip and don't just see it as a chore. This may come as a surprise given the stressful nature of air travel and the pressure to meet business targets. However, with the right planning, the business trip can become more - for example, if the company accommodates the employee by extending a business trip privately.
Whether Paris, London or Berlin - many attractive top cities for business meetings are suitable for adding one or more vacation days after the meeting. Bleisure Traveling - the combination of business and leisure is in vogue. The German Travel Association has found that nine out of ten business travelers have already taken advantage of this option.
Connecting vacations to global business destinations are also financially attractive for employees. The partially private trip to business-friendly cities is ideal for taking family members on the trip. If you reserve a double room, you only pay the rate for a single booking. There are no travel costs, as the company pays for travel to and from the destination. If you can relax on site after a stressful meeting, you will be happier in your job. According to surveys by the German Travel Association, bleisure trips to top business travel cities are therefore becoming increasingly popular for employee recruitment and retention.