Global business travel is certainly on the rise but some destinations could set you back more than you expect. International corporate travel isn’t the cheapest business activity on the calendar and costs can quickly add up. Flights, visas, accommodation, transportation and food make up the bare essentials before taking into account employee’s allowances. Effectively planning your company’s itinerary has become even more important.
The industry as a whole has seen an impressive 3.5% growth since 2016 and according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), we can expect a further 7% in 2020.
It’s really no surprise that half of the top 20 most expensive cities are in the United States. Destinations such as New York, Boston and San Francisco top the chart with daily budgets well exceeding $500. These costs include accommodation, food, car rental or taxi services.
A recent report from Business Travel News (BTN) suggest that San Francisco is becoming even more popular and expensive for business travelers. A breakdown of a required daily budget for the bare necessities could look as follows:
International destinations Tokyo, Zurich and London are also high on the list. In fact, Zurich is said to be the most expensive European city at $489 per day. Tokyo and London are close behind with daily budgets of $472 and $469 respectively.
On the opposite spectrum, if you’re traveling to Bakersfield, California it’s reportedly the cheapest American city averaging $240 per day. In comparison, Johannesburg is the overall cheapest by some distance with $174 per day.
Accommodation in New York is, without a doubt, among the highest at $385 per night compared to London’s $279. Newark has the most expensive taxis at $80 per day and the food in Honolulu can set you back $123 per day. Tokyo is the most expensive city outside of the United States where taxis can cost in the region of $133 per day.
Business travel has changed considerably in the last few years with technology and millennials at the helm. While ‘Baby-boomers’ liked to get in and out, Millennials seem to prefer an extended experience. They turn their business trips into something new and interesting, mixing business with pleasure more often than not. This approach has changed how companies view business travel where agencies now offer a wider variety of travel packages.
While business travel is still popular and necessary in many industries, the requirements of a person going on a business trip have changed. Staying connected is more important than ever and airlines, hotels and conference facilities have taken this into account. They know that providing an efficient Wi-Fi connection and space to work in is essential for customer retention. In fact, WiFi has become such an important aspect that it’s almost a non-negotiable and charging travelers for it seem unreasonable.
With the positives come the negative. A recent survey shows that majority of business leaders around the world feel that travel has become more dangerous in 2017. In light of terrorist attacks, civil unrest and natural disasters, it’s hard to argue the facts. However, there are steps companies can take to minimise the risks. Some of these include pre-trip and post-trip advisory emails, travel safety training, security training and annual health check-ups.
Despite all the changes to business travel, one thing has remained consistent - the ease that comes with using a professional corporate travel agency when planning your business trip. Whether booking a short trip from Johannesburg to Durban or attending a conference in London, by choosing a corporate travel agency you can be assured of first-class service and that your company needs are met in the most financially savvy way possible.