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New York remains the most expensive location in the world for business travel

New York is the most expensive location in the world for business travel. This was one of the findings of the latest Daily Rates research published by ECA International, the world's leading provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

“New York tops the rankings as the most expensive location for business travel due to the high cost of hotels and travel, as well as mandatory 15-20% tipping policies during meals out” said Simon Franklin, Daily Rates Manager at ECA International. “A high demand for hotels especially means rates can be charged at a premium and this is reflected in the average cost of a stay at a 4* hotel, which currently stands at a huge USD 509 per night.”

Updated annually, ECA’s Daily Rates reports provide average costs for hotel accommodation, which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance, as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi transport and daily essentials. This information is used by companies to determine daily expense allowances for staff who undertake business travel.

The full cost of a business trip to New York is USD 793 per day, on average. 

Washington DC features in eighth place in the global rankings, down from seventh the year before, whilst the Caribbean cities of Bridgetown and Nassau are at fifth and seventh respectively. 

Global comparison

Second in the global rankings, and the most expensive European location for business travel, is Geneva where the average business trip would cost USD 720 per day. 

Franklin said “Swiss cities have always been expensive locations for business travel, and 2017 was no different as the Swiss Franc has continued to perform very strongly. On top of this, Switzerland has long been considered a major financial and banking hub and will remain so for the foreseeable future, meaning that business travel to Swiss locations will keep on being a necessity.”

Meanwhile in Asia, the cost of business travel was much cheaper comparatively. Hong Kong is the most expensive location for business travel in Asia but is only 29th most expensive globally. 

Franklin explained “Hong Kong has returned as the most expensive place in Asia to visit on business, after overtaking Tokyo in the rankings. However, this change is mostly due to the overall price of business travel in Japan decreasing over the course of 2017. The cost of business travel in Hong Kong has remained relatively unchanged from last year with the typical business trip now costing USD 508 per day on average.”

Ten most expensive locations for business travel globally
2017 ranking
2016 ranking
New York, USA
Geneva, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Luanda, Angola
Bridgetown, Barbados
Paris, France
Nassau, Bahamas
Washington DC, USA
Basel, Switzerland


About ECA International

ECA International is the market-leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.
Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully-integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

About ECA's Daily Rates

ECA's Daily Rates for business travellers help organisations to anticipate the cost of business trips and short-term assignments. Globally, the Daily Rates reports for 2017-18 are available for 375 locations in 192 countries.
Each report itemises costs for the following expenses for flexibility when calculating allowances for short trips abroad:

- Hotel room (3, 4 and 5 star)
- Meals
- Laundry
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Incidental costs
- Journeys by taxi

PLEASE NOTE - 4* hotel accommodation was used as the point of comparison for hotel accommodation costs in these rankings as it best represents the typical level of accommodation used by business travellers.

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