Business travelers regularly fly to and from international hubs in the pre-pandemic world. Annual spending on business travel is $1.4 trillion, and everyone knows that if you travel for business, chances are, at some point, you’ll have to go to New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, or Dubai.
Then, everything came to a standstill as the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally. All forms of non-essential travel simply stopped and international mobility fell to the lowest level since the introduction of the Boeing 707 in 1958, ushering in the jet age. Now, however, business travel is making a comeback. Travel is making a comeback and taking on new forms as businesses become more flexible, hybrid and decentralized. Professionals across industries, roles and countries are returning to the streets to meet once more in real life and in person.
But, where are they going now? Are today’s business travel destinations the same as they used to be? We’ve found the top 20 destinations by city that our business travelers book on the TravelPerk platform. Here they are going to meet their colleagues, clients and partners face to face.
Top 10 Destinations for Private Business Meetings
It’s no wonder London finds itself at #1 on the list of top business travel destinations. With banks, technology companies, FMCG, and virtually any business you can think of working in London, it’s no wonder business travelers are flocking there. London has often represented the bridge between North America and Europe, and it continues to do so today with travelers from both sides of the pond choosing London as their meeting point.
Are you going to London soon for some face-to-face meetings? Check out our London city guide made for business travelers by business travelers!
Between Barcelona Tech City, Mobile World Congress, and year-round sunshine, it seems only natural that Barcelona takes the #2 slot on this list. The city is fast becoming a startup and tech hub, as well as being home to some of Europe’s biggest companies. With plenty of hotels and event spaces, it’s no wonder business travelers and companies flock to this Spanish coastal town.
What’s more, Barcelona is a travel industry favorite in its own right, attracting over 27 million tourists each year!
The German capital is thriving as a major European business center and is often hailed as one of the best cities to live and work. The city’s modern flair attracts talent from all over the world, making Berlin one of the continent’s most international bases for the workforce. . A growing number of companies are setting up shop there, with young professionals willing to relocate to Berlin because of its exciting music scene and quality of life. You will be sure to go there soon to meet your colleagues or clients!
Amsterdam has historically been celebrated as a center of creativity and innovation. Businesses from various industries have established their headquarters in Amsterdam, including large companies in the financial services, banking, automotive and energy sectors. The city’s business district is a short 15-minute bicycle ride from the city center, making Amsterdam the perfect place for real-life professional meetings.
Oh la la! The French capital never fails to make it into the list of best destinations for anything – be it for work or pleasure. But putting croissants and French fashion aside for the moment, Paris is actually one of Europe’s most notable business centers and home to the largest number of the world’s top 500 headquarters! Not only this, the city attracts medium and small businesses alike for its economic diversity, business dynamism, huge talent pool and more.
There is no doubt that business travelers will continue to visit Paris throughout 2022 and 2023. It is the perfect destination to turn your business trip into an enjoyable travel experience!
6. New York
Ah, the Big Apple. New York City can always be found comfortably in the top 10 list of corporate travel destinations. Home to the world’s most famous financial district, New York is a melting pot of companies, industries, businesses and creatives. Regardless of what role you take or what business you’re in, chances are, you’ll often travel to New York to meet someone face-to-face.
What’s more, New York has the most vibrant business events scene after Las Vegas. So, keep your eyes peeled for any trade shows or conferences you want to attend for in-person networking!
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is fast becoming a major player in Europe’s business ecosystem. The city provides a clear connection between European and South American markets, and international companies are also increasingly establishing large-scale offices in its financial district. The city has also opened a notable convention center, so you can expect to travel to Madrid for a conference networking event in the near future.
With many business hotels available and a highly developed public transport system, Madrid is comfortably becoming a force to be reckoned with in the business world.
Sometimes a surprise contender on this list, Lisbon is an entrepreneur’s haven on this side of the Atlantic. With its strong connections to Brazil’s major business cities (such as São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro), Lisbon is a vibrant and exciting city for businesses large and small to gather and meet in person.
Lisbon is often chosen as the perfect place for a company retreat or offsite, boasting plenty of affordable and comfortable hotels, an unrivaled culinary scene and plenty of opportunities for team-building activities in and around the city.
Often referred to as Germany’s economic powerhouse, Munich is home to a number of the country’s largest companies. It is a destination for Germany’s technology companies, with a wide range of businesses operating in the engineering, aerospace, life sciences and pharmaceutical spaces setting up camp in Munich. There is no doubt that any professional dealings with clients or partners in Germany require some face-to-face time in Munich!
Although Vienna is often associated with opera, ballet and other such elegant affairs, the city is actually also a business center in its own right. Vienna’s highly educated workforce, its strategic location in the heart of Europe and its vibrant social scene make it a go-to place for business travelers trying to “meet in the middle”. Austria’s capital is the perfect place for any professional encounter – whether it’s taking the team somewhere for a well-deserved off-site or meeting a client in a beautiful and easy-to-reach location.
Business travel destinations are on the rise
As business travel continues to recover, there’s no doubt we’ll see plenty of movement in this list. Some destinations may see a huge increase in business travel arrivals, overtaking the seemingly more popular destinations of the moment. The cities listed below are making a big comeback as top destinations for business travelers to meet in person:
13. San Francisco
20. Los Angeles