London has re-entered a list of the top ten most expensive cities around the world for business travel after dropping off the 2018 rankings.
The capital tied with Bern, Switzerland for tenth place on this year’s list, which is based on research by global mobility specialist ECA International. On average, the total cost of a typical business trip in central London now costs £444 a day (down £4 from the 2018 report), with the average price of a four-star hotel hitting £251 a night.
“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.
Edinburgh has seen the biggest price increase in the UK, according to ECA, with a typical trip now costing £320, up £13 on last year’s report. Hotel costs in the Scottish capital account for nearly half the total of a business trip at £167 a night for a four-star property – £25 more than any other UK city outside of London.
At £151 a night on average, four-star hotels in Dublin now cost more than those in Madrid (£149) and Berlin (£146), and the Irish city is now more expensive for business travel than Edinburgh thanks to an increase in the cost of meals and drinks.
According to the research, New York City is the most expensive destination for business travellers in the world, with the average trip costing £618 per day – far pricier than its closest follower Geneva at £553 a day.
In fact, the US took four of the top ten spots, with Washington DC at number four (£481), San Francisco at seven (£448) and Los Angeles in ninth place (£446).
Switzerland is still the most expensive country in Europe, also taking four spots in the top ten with Geneva (£553), Zurich (£511), Basel (£447) and Bern (£444).
And although no Asian cities appear in the top ten most expensive destinations, Hong Kong has been ranked the priciest location in the region for the second year in a row, costing on average £398 per day.
Kilfedder commented: “Hong Kong has always been one of the most expensive Asian locations to visit on business, due to a combination of a high cost of goods and services and expensive hotel prices. However, in recent years we have seen Hong Kong pull away slightly from other expensive locations such as Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore, and this year has been no different with Hong Kong now costing 4 per cent more than Tokyo and 8 per cent more than Seoul in second and third places respectively.”
ECA’s research takes into account various business travel costs, including hotel rooms, meals, laundry, alcoholic and soft drinks, incidentals and taxi journeys.