Lonely Planet Writer

Travelling for work? These are the most expensive cities for business travel in 2019

New York has once again topped the list in an annual ranking of the world’s most expensive cities for business travel. The city’s pricey hotel rooms propelled it into the top spot for a second year in a row, according to data complied by management consultants ECA International.

New York is the most expensive destination to travel to for business. Image by Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

If you’re travelling for work you need to take certain expenses into account such as hotel accommodation, meals, drinks, laundry and taxis. Hopefully your company is covering those expenses but it’s still useful to know what city is going to rack up the biggest bill. This year’s ECA International report has revealed that city is New York where the estimated daily rate for business travellers is $799 (£618).

The city’s pricey hotel rooms propelled it to the top spot. Image: Ryan D. Budhu/Getty Images

According to Steven Kilfedder, production manager at ECA International, the city’s accommodation rates drive up the costs but other factors are at play too. “A big proportion of the cost of business travel to New York can be attributed to the high demand for hotels in the city with a room costing $512 (£396) on average,” he explained. “These costs in combination with consistently high prices for transport and at many restaurants can make trips to the city extremely expensive.”

Swiss cities like Geneva, which came in second ($716/£553) and Zurich third ($661/£511), continue to be expensive cities to travel for work. Washington DC ($621/£481) rose up to fourth place this year, while the only other US cities to rank in the top ten were San Francisco ($578/£448) and Los Angeles ($576/£446), which came in seventh and ninth place respectively.

Reykjavik, Iceland with the old town in the background
Reykjavík saw the biggest leap in the cost of business travel. Image by: Egill Bjarnason /Lonely Planet

Paris came in fifth ($616/£477), while Switzerland filled out the list with Basel in eighth ($577/£447) and Bern ($573/£444) in joint tenth place with London. However, it is the Icelandic capital Reykjavík which saw a big leap in the cost of business travel, with the average trip now costing a total of  $615 (£476). That’s a jump of over $50 in just a year, moving Reykjavík ahead of business hubs such as London to become the fourth most expensive location in Europe for business travel.

So if you’re looking to plan your next trip business trip, these are the most expensive cities:

  1. New York City, USA
  2. Geneva, Switzerland
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Washington DC, USA
  5. Paris, France
  6. Reykjavík, Iceland
  7. San Francisco, USA
  8. Basel, Switzerland
  9. Los Angeles, USA
  10. Bern, Switzerland
  11. London, UK