Business trip

Most Expensive Business Trip Destinations in Europe 2019

Swiss cities dominate the top ten costliest locations in Europe for business travel, while London is the joint tenth most expensive city in the world for business trips.

According to research by global mobility experts, ECA International (ECA). On average, the total cost of a typical business trip in Central London now costs GBP 444 (USD 574) a day, with the average price of a four-star hotel stay costing GBP 251 (USD 324) a night.

“London business travel has weathered the Brexit uncertainty thus far and it remains one of the busiest business hubs in the world. In part this is because demand has been boosted by the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote in 2016, making the UK more affordable for international visitors.,” said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager at ECA International.

Edinburgh has seen the biggest increase in the UK for business travel, with a typical trip now costing GBP 320, up GBP 13 on last year’s report. Hotel costs in Edinburgh are particularly high and account for almost half the total of a typical business trip, costing GBP 167 a night in a four-star hotel. This is at least GBP 25 more than any other UK city outside of London. 

Updated annually, ECA’s Daily Rates report reviews the average costs for hotel accommodation – which makes up the bulk of any daily allowance – as well as meals, drinks, laundry, taxi journeys and daily essentials. This information is used by companies to determine daily expense allowances for staff undertaking international business travel.

UK business trip daily costs



 Average price of a business trip per day (GBP)

Average price of a 4* hotel per night (GBP)

Central London

Hotels in Dublin now more expensive than Madrid and Berlin

The price of hotels in Dublin has increased significantly in the past year, now costing GBP 151 (EUR 168) a night on average for a four-star hotel. Dublin hotel costs have overtaken other European capitals such as Berlin (GBP 146, EUR 163 per night) and Madrid (GBP 149, EUR 166 per night). 

The overall cost of a business trip to Dublin now exceeds that of Edinburgh despite a night’s stay costing GBP 16 more per night in the Scottish capital. Other expenses in Dublin that increase the total include an additional GBP 15 a day more on meals and drinks compared to the Scottish capital.

“Dublin is a popular city for both business and leisure despite increasing demand triggering an increase in hotel costs. A large number of financial services firms have moved staff and operations to the Irish capital from the UK since Brexit negotiations began, exacerbating the rising costs of business travel in the city,” said Kilfedder.  

Business travel in Switzerland still most expensive in Europe

Swiss cities dominate the top ten costliest locations in Europe for business travel with Geneva leading the rankings ahead of Zurich (2nd), Basel (5th) and Bern (6th). Hotels in Switzerland are also the most expensive on the continent with a four-star Geneva hotel costing GBP 292 a night on average, GBP 41 more expensive than London. 

New York most expensive location in the world for business travel

New York is the only location in the world to rank higher for business travel costs than Geneva with a trip to the Big Apple costing GBP 618 (USD 799) a day on average.

Kilfedder said: “A big proportion of the cost of business travel to New York can be attributed to the high demand for hotels in the city with a room costing GBP 396 (USD 512) on average. These costs in combination with consistently high prices for transport and at many restaurants can make trips to the city extremely expensive, contributing to the city being ranked the most expensive in the world for business travel.”

Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in Asia for business travel

For the second successive year, Hong Kong has been ranked the most expensive location in Asia for business travel with the average business trip costing an overall total of GBP 398 (USD 515) per day, including hotel costs of GBP 221 (USD 286).

Kilfedder said: “Hong Kong has always been one of the most expensive Asian locations to visit on business, due to the combination of a high cost of goods and services, and expensive hotel prices; however, in recent years we have seen Hong Kong pull away slightly from other expensive locations such as Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore, and this year has been no different with Hong Kong now costing 4% more than Tokyo and 8% more than Seoul in second and third places respectively.”

Most Expensive Business Trip Destinations in Europe 2019

Newsletter subscription

Sign up to receive FTNnews Newsletter

Subscribe to get the latest travel news by email

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Scroll to Top