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What’s the Most Expensive City in the World to Do Business?

The Big Apple is taking big bites out of budget travel budgets, survey finds

When it comes to the cost of doing business, New York City crowns the list of the most expensive places for business travelers to conduct their corporate affairs. A study conducted by London-based mobility experts, ECA International finds that New York is the only location in the world to rank higher for business travel costs than Geneva with a trip to the Big Apple costing approximately $799 a day on average.

Swiss cities dominate the top ten costliest locations in Europe for business travel with Geneva leading the rankings. Hotels in Switzerland are also the most expensive on the continent with a four-star Geneva hotel costing $379 per night on average.

Updated annually, ECA’s Daily Rates report reviews the average costs for hotel accommodation – a cost that makes up the bulk of any daily allowance — as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi journeys and daily essentials. This information is used by companies to determine daily expense allowances for staff undertaking international business travel.

When it comes to the UK, a popular destination for U.S. business trips, daily costs run:

RankingCity / Average price of a business trip per day (USD) / Average price of a 4* hotel per night (USD)

1. Central London:  $576 / $325

2. Edinburgh: $415 / $216

3. Manchester:  $365 / $184

4. Glasgow: $334 / $166

5. Cardiff: $329 / $151

6. Belfast:  $328 / $ 159

Meanwhile, hotels in Dublin are now more expensive than Madrid and Berlin. The price of hotels in Dublin has increased significantly in the past year, now costing $196 a night on average for a four-star hotel. Dublin hotel costs have overtaken other European capitals such as Berlin ($189 per night) and Madrid ($193 per night).

The overall cost of a business trip to Dublin now exceeds that of Edinburgh despite a night’s stay costing $20 more per night in the Scottish capital. Other expenses in Dublin that increase the total include an additional $19 a day more on meals and drinks compared to the Scottish capital.

“London business travel has weathered the Brexit uncertainty thus far and it remains one of the busiest business hubs in the world. In part, this is because demand has been boosted by the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote in 2016, making the UK more affordable for international visitors.,” said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager at ECA International. “Dublin is also a popular city for both business and leisure despite increasing demand triggering an increase in hotel costs. A large number of financial services firms have moved staff and operations to the Irish capital from the UK since Brexit negotiations began, exacerbating the rising costs of business travel in the city.”

Business travel in Switzerland still most expensive in Europe, however, with Geneva leading the rankings ahead of Zurich (2nd), Basel (5th) and Bern (6th).