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Sep 1, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Business travel: The latest tendencies in Europe, according to BCD Travel

The most recent edition of a study on business travel carried out by Europeans shows that London and Vienna are still the most popular destinations. Furthermore, there have been no changes atop the rankings of cities outside Europe, which are still dominated by New York and Shanghai. In terms of countries, the USA and Germany are common business destinations.


Between 2015 and 2016, there was no change in the top five destinations in Europe for business travellers on the old continent. London (United Kingdom) still leads the rankings, ahead of Vienna (Austria) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). 

Just off the podium came Zurich (Switzerland), while Paris is fifth in the ranking based on the number of flight tickets issued in a total of eight countries (France, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland and Luxembourg).

Journeys within European still the most common

The figures come from the 2017 version of Cities & Trends: Where, how and when do Europeans travel on business?, a study carried out by BCD Travel – who specialise in business trips – and which analyses statistics from 2016. While European cities were the most frequented, representing some 46.1% of all trips analysed, businesspeople also travelled a great deal within their own country (36.2% of trips).

Trips outside Europe represented only 17.6% of the total, and again there was no change in the two most popular destinations for business travellers, namely New York (USA) and Shanghai (China). These are followed by Beijing (China), Singapore and Dubai (United Arab Emirates). While they may be in the minority, it was flights taking travellers to another continent which were the up the most, with an increase of 5.3% between 2015 and 2016 according to Voyages d'affaires. 

USA and Germany the top destinations

The authors of the report also studied the countries which receive the most visits for business travel. Internationally, the USA came out on top ahead of China and India, while within Europe, the airports in the United Kingdom were the most frequent destinations, ahead of those in Germany and Spain. 

It was the same countries but in a different order as far as French travellers were concerned, with Germany on top, followed by the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

Less travel in summer and at the end of the year

As the name of the report suggests, BCD Travel also looked into when businesspeople were on the move. Trips seem to be spread out quite evenly, with each month having a proportion of the year’s trips varying between 8.5% and 9%. The exceptions to this are July, August and December, when there are fewer flights (between 5.6% – 7.3% of the total). Be it in summer or at the end of the year, holiday periods are certainly not the preferred time for businesspeople to travel.


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