Regardless of whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, travelling for business can be a great perk, if you get to go to the right places. Bustling cities, fancy hotels and incredible cultures make any business trip, local or further afield, feel better, and can easily turn a meeting into an unforgettable memory.
In 2020, business travel decreased by 61%, but still added £382 billion to the economy. Now the world is opening up again, that figure is only going to grow, with numbers set to reach two thirds of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. We look at which cities are the best for business travel, based on population sizes, closest airport, average hotel ratings and more.
Pack your bags, you’ve got work to do!
The top 50 global cities for business tourism
We’ve scored the 50 most populated cities around the world, and the top 20 most populated cities in the UK, using eight key metrics:
- The cost of an average three-course meal
- Average internet download speeds
- Average hotel costs
- Average hotel ratings
- Closest airports
- Average taxi fares
- Reported crime rates
- Number of WeWork spaces and hot desks available
The resulting data means that we can now reveal the best city in the world for business travel in terms of cost and convenience!
With a high average internet speed of 85.84Mbps, an excellent airport rating of 8.17 out of ten for Singapore Changi Airport, and 14 WeWork spaces to make the most of, Singapore is the leading city in the world for business travel.
Singapore is a thriving metropolis, home to some huge business in electronics, manufacturing and machinery. It’s also visually stunning, with the impressive Interlace just one of many buildings that will catch your eye. A three-course meal will set you back a reasonable £45 on average, crime is very low with a score of 27.4/100, and an average hotel rating of 7.71 will ensure you have a comfortable stay.
In second place is the capital of South Korea, Seoul. The city offers rapid internet speeds of 116.86Mbps, which makes sense for a city associated with tech businesses and invention. Their airport rating is slightly lower than Singapore’s at 7.66, but they beat their rivals with 17 WeWork spaces, cheaper three-course meals (around £37) and a higher hotel rating (8.17).
If you want to get into the heart of a technology giant, Seoul is the place to be.
Tokyo has the fastest internet speed of all the cities we analysed, offering residents there a connection of 146.53Mbps. As the economical capital of Japan, the city is a haven for business travellers, offering them hotel ratings of 8.21, very low crime scores of 23.37/100 and a great airport rating of 8.38. However, it is slightly more expensive. An average 5km taxi journey is likely to set you back around £17, meaning a three-course meal for £40 might start to look a little more expensive.
Delhi is a great city to work in, unless you want to get online. The price of your dinner there is one of the cheapest around, costing only £15 on average for an undoubtedly delicious three-course meal. A taxi journey is also incredibly affordable at just over £1, while a hotel room will only set you back £23. However, all those savings do come at a cost - with internet speeds of just 28.59Mbps and only seven WeWorks, you might find it easier to save money than make it.
#5 Hong Kong
While Hong Kong isn’t the most expensive city to work in,it definitely isn’t the most affordable, which pretty much sums up why it’s in fifth position. A night’s stay in the city will cost you around £85, which is towards the top end of our index, but getting around via taxi will only cost you an average £6.50 per journey. Internet speeds of 81.97Mbps are also slightly above average, meaning you can guarantee Hong Kong will be good enough to get the job done.
The top 20 UK cities for business tourism
Business travel doesn’t have to just happen abroad - up and down the UK, people are regularly boarding early morning trains to get to meetings, presentations and pitches. We wanted to see how our cities fared when scored under the same conditions, so we reviewed the top 20 most populated to find out.
Bristol is a stunning city, famed for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, its incredible harbour and for being the birthplace of Noel Edmonds. Now you know. It offers workers great broadband speeds of 95Mbps, five WeWork spaces, and a low crime rate of 40.8/100. On the downside, Bristol is a little on the expensive side - a night in a hotel there will cost an average of £128, while a three-course meal would see around £53 leave your pocket.
Wolverhampton is a handy business hub for almost anyone in the UK. A hotel room there will cost you an average of £101 per night, and with ratings of 8.49, you could be sure of a comfy stay. The crime score is a touch higher than locals might like at 59/100, and there are no WeWorks spaces, meaning Wolverhampton hasn’t quite done enough to make top spot.
Bradford might be a surprising inclusion in our list, but it’s a city on the up. Average download speeds of 72Mbps are nothing to be laughed at, and an average price of £103.01 for a night in a 8.29 rated hotel isn’t bad either.
Taxis in Bradford are also cheap at £6.55 for a 5km journey, and food there will only cost around £40 for a three-course meal.
While crime in Bradford is an issue, with a score of 71.1/100, it’s certainly not a city to be ignored when planning your next business trip.
Head over the Irish Sea to benefit from business tourism in Belfast. The capital of Northern Ireland has two co-working spaces ready to welcome you, and offers incredible download speeds of 166Mbps, making it the fastest in our survey by far. Crime in the city is also a bonus, scoring only 43.9/100, although with hotel costs of £156.90 per night and a three-course meal being £50, you’ll have to pay to enjoy your time there.
Birmingham completes the UK’s top five, benefiting from decent internet speeds of 88Mbps, an airport rating of 7.36, and six co-working spaces for all your meeting, creating and collaborating needs. Hotels in the city aren’t bad either, averaging out at 7.96, but all of that does come at a cost - a night in the city could set you back £162.72, and a three-course meal comes in at around £50.
Fancy travelling for business yourself?
If you’re thinking about starting a UK based-business of your own, and making the most of a fantastic network of business cities, it’s time we talked. A Dojo card machine makes taking payments easy, and with our next-day transfers, we aim to get your money into your account by 10am the very next day – even on Bank Holidays.
Start booking those business trips.
For the indexes we created the data was used to determine which cities in the world and the UK were the best for business tourism:
- The average costs of meals in restaurants, taxi journeys and reported crime levels (Numbeo)
- The average cost and rating for hotels within each city (booking.com)
Each cities closest airports (AirHelp)
Average download speed by city and the number of WeWork and hot desks available in each city (Fairinternetreport and BroadbandSpeedChecker). The data points were used to create an index with each city scoring out of a total possible score of . They were then ranked accordingly and of an equal weighting to give a fair outcome on which city is best for business tourism in the UK and Worldwide.