What’s the most expensive destination for a U.S. business traveler? You might think it’s some pricey overseas city like Tokyo or Geneva or Paris. Nope – not even close. The most expensive business destinations are right here in the USA.
That’s according to an extensive new ranking of daily business travel costs compiled by the trade publication Business Travel News, using data from actual January-November 2016 bookings provided by the global corporate travel management company BCD Travel. The study looked at average daily spending for a hotel, rental car and meals at scores of cities in the U.S. and abroad.
And the most expensive of all those destinations was New York City, with average daily spending of $549 – an increase of 5 percent year-over-year. San Francisco ranked second, at $534, followed by Boston at $510.
By contrast, the foreign city with the highest average spending level was Tokyo at $489 a day, followed by Zurich at $471 and London at $468. (All overseas prices were recorded in local currencies and converted to U.S. dollars. Click on the above link for an explanation of the study’s methodology.)
Three of the five most expensive foreign business destinations were in Switzerland; in addition to Zurich, they included Basel at $442 a day and Geneva at $432. And in the U.S., four of the 10 most expensive cities were in California. Besides San Francisco, they included Los Angeles ($419), San Jose ($418), and Santa Barbara ($395).
Hotel rates accounted for the biggest difference in costs. The average daily cost of a business hotel stay in New York was $385, followed by $379 for San Francisco, $337 for Boston and $320 for Washington D.C., the fourth-place U.S. destination.
By contrast, no hotel spending at foreign destinations exceeded $300 a day. The average hotel spend was $239 in Tokyo, $265 in Zurich and $279 in London.
Readers: Which U.S. and foreign cities have you found to be the most expensive in your travels? How do you keep costs down on business trips?