London is the eighth most expensive city in the world for business trips, with a trip costing £497 a day, according to new data from global mobility specialist, ECA International (ECA).
An overnight stay in a four-star hotel in London now costs an average of £286 a night, almost 20% higher than last year – and more than double the rate in cities like Vienna (£142), Athens (£136) or Lisbon (£130).
Sending two employees to London for a three-night business trip in London will set businesses back by £2,982, before travel costs.
Outside London, the next most expensive business destination in the UK is Edinburgh, with a typical trip costing £326 a day. Half of the cost is due to hotel stays, with Edinburgh having the second most expensive hotels outside of London. Higher hotel costs have also led Birmingham to be the third most expensive city in the UK, moving above Manchester.
“High inflation and increased staffing costs are leading to hotel stays becoming significantly more expensive across the UK. London, however, stands out as having some of the greatest rises in hotel costs, up by 20% since last year, while hotels elsewhere in the country show an average increase of just 5% on the previous year,” said Alec Smith, Benefits and Daily Rates Manager at ECA International.
Smith added, “As one of the busiest business hubs in the world, demand in London has recovered from the drop in travel seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a weakened pound making the UK attractive to international visitors. The drop in value of the pound against major currencies over the past year has led to all UK cities falling in our global rankings, despite some pronounced increases in costs in local currency terms.”
2023 UK RankingCityAverage price of a business trip per day (GBP)Average price of a 4* hotel per night (GBP)1London4972862Edinburgh3261623Birmingham3081514Manchester3041525Belfast2851396Cardiff271124
New York City is the most expensive city in the world for business travel, with daily costs of £678, hotel costs are the main reason for New York’s place at the top of the global rankings, tipping Geneva into second place worldwide.
2023 Global RankingCityAverage price of a business trip per day (GBP)Average price of a 4* hotel per night (GBP)1New York6784182Geneva5973053Washington DC5613104Zurich5462675San Francisco5192766Tel Aviv5072637Los Angeles4982648London4972869Luanda48126510Paris475273
While Swiss hotel costs are similar to those in other large cities like London and Paris, the other business trip costs in Switzerland easily outstrip other major European cities – making Switzerland the most expensive country in Europe for business travel (Zurich fourth globally, and Bern 12th)l. Businesses sending employees to Geneva will be set back £292 per day for meals, drinks, taxis and incidental costs, compared to only £128 in Lisbon or £148 in Madrid.
2023 European RankingCityAverage price of a business trip per day (GBP)Average price of a 4* hotel per night (GBP)1Geneva5973052Zurich5462673London4972864Paris4752735Bern4622056Copenhagen4302017Reykjavik4222038Milan4182379Amsterdam41523510Rome401220