The best cities for international business travel

August 02, 2022

A new study presents the top ten cities in the world that welcome business travel.

In 2020 business travel fell by 61% but still added £382bn to the economy. According to Deloitte’s Business Travel Report, the top drivers of a return to international travel are sales visits, executive meetings and working on client projects.

Additionally, the popular “work from anywhere models” demonstrated by brands such as Spotify, Twitter and Salesforce have created a new workforce of “digital nomads” who can vary their workplace throughout of the year. Indeed, in 2020 a study by MBO Partners showed that nearly 11 million American workers considered themselves “digital nomads”. This represents an increase from 4.8 million in 2018.

What makes a city ideal for business travel?

The world’s 50 most populous cities were scored on key metrics including the cost of a three-course meal, average download speeds and number of WeWork spaces.

The research, commissioned by Dojo, also considered average hotel costs and ratings, nearest airports, average taxi fares and reported crime rates.

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1. Singapore

Singapore ranks first with an overall index of 79.3 out of 100. This city is considered a global hub for industries such as telecommunications, finance, and education. It is also a popular choice for regional headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, with more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies choosing it as their APAC headquarters.

Singapore has a high average internet speed of 85.4 Mbps and 14 WeWork spaces to choose from. A three-course meal will set you back £45.

2. Seoul

Seoul, located in South Korea, comes in second with a score of 79 out of 100. This city offers fast internet speeds of 116.86 Mbps and is home to 17 WeWork spaces. The average score for airports is 7.66 and for hotels is 8.17 out of 10.

The International Trade Administration warns business travelers that as traffic congestion is a persistent problem in the city, it should be taken into account when traveling to business meetings.

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Image: A photograph of Seoul’s skyscrapers behind a “Seoul” sign. Image credit: Pexels

3.Tokyo

Home to some of the biggest companies in technology and the automotive industry, Tokyo comes third with the highest internet speed of 146.53 Mbps. The average hotel rating in this city is 8.21, and it has a very low crime score of 23.37/100.

Corporate Traveler notes that Japan is still a cash-based society, so it is advisable to have cash ready to pay for meals and taxis.

4.Delhi

Delhi ranks fourth with an overall index of 72.3 out of 100. The price of your dinner in Delhi is one of the cheapest at just £15 and a taxi ride is also affordable at just £1.29. However, the internet speed is only 28.59 Mbps, which may mean that your work takes a little longer than usual.

An OYO survey of 1,300 people in June 2022 found Delhi to be the preferred destination for business travelers in India, followed closely by Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

5.Hong Kong

Hong Kong followed with an impressive 68.5 points out of a possible 100, making it the fifth-best city in the world. Internet speeds of 81.97 Mbps are slightly above average.

Hong Kong’s main characteristics include its open trade and investment climate and its proximity to Asian markets.

6. Warsaw

Poland is a popular location for business processing centers, shared service centers, and research and development operations.

Businesses are attracted to Poland because of its large population, competitive workforce and location to access the wider European Union market of 447.7 million citizens.

A night in Warsaw will cost around £61 and a three-course meal costs an average of £27.66.

7. Beijing

With a score of 65.3 out of 100, Beijing is home to the most Fortune Global 500 companies in the country.

Much of Beijing’s economy belongs to the service, financial services and information technology sectors.

8. Sao Paulo

São Paulo is the financial capital of Brazil and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The São Paulo Stock Exchange has become one of the ten largest stock exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalization.

9.Madrid

Around 15% of all tourists to Madrid are visiting for business and the city welcomes over a million business travelers every year.

The city is also seventh in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking for association meetings by number of attendees and sophistication of conference venues.

In the Dojo list, Madrid scored 62.8 out of 100.

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Image: A photograph of the city of Madrid seen from above. Image credit: Pexels

10.Bangkok

Bangkok, the Thai capital, completes the top ten list. This city is particularly focused on the manufacturing industry, real estate, transportation and retail trade.

Business trips are not recommended in Bangkok during the monsoon season, but rather during the dry months of November to February.

Image: A photograph that shows a colored map of the world on a blackboard. A hand can be seen holding a toy plane across the North American area. Image credit: Pexels

Article written by Ella Tansley | Posted on August 02, 2022

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