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May 24, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Business travel: New York, Geneva and Zurich the most expensive cities for business travel in the world

A consultancy firm specialising in global mobility has published a ranking of the world’s most expensive cities for business trips. New York ranks the highest, followed by Geneva and Zurich, with Paris fifth. Hong Kong is the most expensive in Asia, which has no cities in the top ten. The ranking takes into account the average cost of accommodation, transport and meals.

New York is the most expensive city in the world for business travellers, with a trip to the Big Apple costing them an average of GBP 618 (approx. EUR 715) a day. In a ranking compiled by global mobility specialists ECA International, the Swiss cities of Geneva and Zurich placed second and third respectively. In creating the ranking, the company’s experts reviewed the average cost of hotels, transport and restaurants, as reported by specialist website Business Traveler France.


Hotel costs a major factor


Accommodation costs are the main reason why New York topped the ranking A big proportion of the cost of business travel to New York can be attributed to the high demand for hotels in the city, with a room costing  GBP 396 (EUR 458) on average,” said Steven Kilfeder, Production Manager at ECA International. “These costs, in combination with consistently high prices for transport and at many restaurants, can make trips to the city extremely expensive.”

Paris placed fifth, just behind Washington and just ahead of the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. London came in a relatively lowly tenth, despite its reputation as a destination that is far from inexpensive. “London business travel has weathered the Brexit uncertainty thus far and it remains one of the busiest business hubs in the world,” explained Kilfeder. “In part this is because demand has been boosted by the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote in 2016, making the UK more affordable for international visitors.”


Tokyo poised to catch up


The top ten is filled by North American and European cities only, leaving no place for Asia’s most expensive business locations. The most costly of them is Hong Kong, where businessmen and women face an average daily spend of GBP 398 (EUR 460), with hotel accommodation accounting for GBP 221 (EUR 255) of that total alone. Tokyo and Seoul are the next cities in the Asian ranking.

The rise of Hong Kong, a city that already had a reputation for being expensive, is due in large part to the booming Chinese economy. It may soon be caught by Tokyo, however, with Japan preparing to host the Rugby World Cup later this year and its capital set to stage the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.


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