Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Ranking: Atlanta and London Top the List of Business Traveler Destinations

Atlanta and London lead the way for American businesses

by Fergus Cole

April 9, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Artem Zhukov / Unsplash

According to a new report from BCD Travel, Atlanta is the most frequently visited city for the domestic business traveler in the U.S. while London is the most common foreign city visited by Americans on business trips.

The report, titled “Cities & Trends 2023 United States”, is based on flight and car rental data from last year. It was used to calculate the most popular business travel destinations for U.S. business travelers and analyze changing trends in the industry.

Atlanta, Georgia / Photo: ibuki Tsubo / Unsplash

When it comes to domestic business travel, the report found that Atlanta was the most frequently visited destination last year. Atlanta is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, while the city has also been recognized as having the fastest-growing number of startup businesses in the country. It is served by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which also happens to be the busiest airport in the world, with around 5.2 million seats in April alone, according to OAG data.

The second most frequently visited city domestically last year was Dallas, and its main gateway is Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). The Texan city is also home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including two major airlines – American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

Photo: Dallas, Texas. Courtesy of Gabriel Tovar / Unsplash

Chicago, home to United Airlines, was the third most popular destination for domestic business travel.

Interestingly, the most frequently visited destination for European travelers doing business in the U.S. was New York City, while Atlanta was way behind in 7th place, and Dallas-Fort Worth wasn’t even in the top ten, as highlighted in the Cities & Trends 2023 Europe report released last month.

London Tops Foreign Charts

Regarding intercontinental travel, last year, the top ten most visited destinations for U.S. business travelers were dominated by European cities, with the EU and the U.S. benefiting from the world’s largest trade and investment relationship.

Despite the impact of Brexit, London remains the number one intercontinental destination for American business travelers, followed by Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Photo: Courtesy of London City Airport

Only three non-European cities made the top ten: Tokyo, Seoul, and Dubai. Latin America’s number one destination, Sao Paulo, fell just short in 11th place.

Despite being popular destinations for business travelers in the past, cities such as Shanghai and Beijing in China have not made it to the list this year. This is mainly due to the ongoing struggles in U.S.-China trade and relations post-pandemic.

Additionally, the number of flights between the two countries has been limited to just 100 roundtrips per week, compared to 340 per week in 2019. However, there has been a gradual increase in the number of flights in recent months.

The Top 10 List

1Atlanta, GeorgiaLondon, UK
2Dallas-Fort Worth, TexasFrankfurt, Germany
3Chicago, IllinoisAmsterdam, Netherlands
4New York City, New YorkParis, France
5Denver, ColoradoMunich, Germany
6Washington, D.C.Tokyo, Japan
7Charlotte, North CarolinaZurich, Switzerland
8Houston, TexasDublin, Ireland
9Los Angeles, CaliforniaSeoul, South Korea
10Seattle/Tacoma, WashingtonDubai, UAE

Craig Bailey, President of Americas at BCD Travel, said that global business travel is close to reaching pre-pandemic levels and claimed that the recent surge in remote working may lead to increased business travel levels in the future.

“On a global, business travel has recovered to 90% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels,” said Bailey. “Factors like economic conditions, remote work and sustainability developments will continue to impact business travel.

Photo: Business Class. Courtesy of WestJet

“For example, in 2024, a fifth of offices in the U.S. will be empty, as 60% of firms allow remote working. But anyone in a team made up of remote workers will need to meet face-to-face occasionally.

“Companies are responding to this development, encouraging remote teams to meet at head offices or other convenient meeting locations. As the commuter of yesterday becomes the business traveler of tomorrow, remote work could potentially lead to more travel.”

Top Flight Routes for Business Travel

The report also revealed the most popular intercontinental flight routes for U.S. business travelers, which unsurprisingly were dominated by routes to Europe, in particular to London and Frankfurt. The top 10 intercontinental routes for U.S. business travelers in 2023 were:

RankFlight Route
1New York City to London
2Chicago to Frankfurt
3New York City to Frankfurt
4Washington, D.C. to Frankfurt
5Los Angeles to London
6Chicago to London
7San Francisco to Frankfurt
8Atlanta to Amsterdam
9New York City to Paris
10Dallas-Fort Worth to Paris