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Cost of business trips in London up 15% in the last year

•    London is now the third most expensive business travel location in Europe, rising from 5th position pre-pandemic
•    New York takes the top spot, while London now ranks the eighth most expensive location in the world for business trips due to the weakened pound
•    The second most expensive business destination in the UK is Edinburgh, with a typical trip costing £326 a day
•    Birmingham has risen five places in our European rankings, the biggest change in the UK with a typical business trip now costing £308 a day
•    Geneva remains the most expensive European destination, costing £597(€700) a day, and second globally

London is the eighth most expensive city in the world for business trips, with a trip costing  £497 a day, according to new data from global mobility specialist, ECA International (ECA).  

An overnight stay in a four-star hotel in London now costs an average of £286 a night, almost 20% higher than last year – and more than double the rate in cities like  Vienna (£142), Athens (£136) or Lisbon (£130).

Sending two employees to London for a three-night business trip in London will set businesses back by £2,982, before travel costs.

Outside London, the next most expensive business destination in the UK is Edinburgh, with a typical trip costing £326 a day. Half of the cost is due to hotel stays, with Edinburgh having the second most expensive hotels outside of London. Higher hotel costs have also led Birmingham to be the third most expensive city in the UK, moving above Manchester.

“High inflation and increased staffing costs are leading to hotel stays becoming significantly more expensive across the UK. London, however, stands out as having some of the greatest rises in hotel costs, up by 20% since last year, while hotels elsewhere in the country show an average increase of just 5% on the previous year,” said Alec Smith, Benefits and Daily Rates Manager at ECA International.

Smith added, “As one of the busiest business hubs in the world, demand in London has recovered from the drop in travel seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a weakened pound making the UK attractive to international visitors. The drop in value of the pound against major currencies over the past year has led to all UK cities falling in our global rankings, despite some pronounced increases in costs in local currency terms.”

New York City is the most expensive city in the world for business travel, with daily costs of  £678, hotel costs are the main reason for New York’s place at the top of the global rankings, tipping Geneva into second place worldwide.

While Swiss hotel costs are similar to those in other large cities like London and Paris, the other business trip costs in Switzerland easily outstrip other major European cities – making Switzerland the most expensive country in Europe for business travel (Zurich fourth globally, and Bern 12th)l. Businesses sending employees to Geneva will be set back £292 per day for meals, drinks, taxis and incidental costs, compared to only £128 in Lisbon or £148 in Madrid.


Notes to editors

  • Figures used in this release were taken from ECA's 2022/2023 Daily Rates Report, with prices recorded between September and December 2022 and exchange rates taken from ECA’s September 2022 Cost of Living survey.

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 2022-23 are available for 457 locations in 196 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 as 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.

For further press information, please contact:

Yasmine Triana / Arabella Halfhide / Tiffany Huret / Becky Claxton
Rooster PR
Tel: +44 (0)20 3440 8934

Jenny Chiang

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