Business travel in the United States only looks bad until you have to leave its borders.
London-based firm MVF Global and its U.S. Expert Market team compiled a list of the world's most expensive cities for business travelers and U.S. cities failed to crack the Top 20. By their measure, only New York ($442.59 per day) and San Francisco ($444.66) cracked the Top 30.
"While it is not surprising that Europe is the most expensive continent it is a shock that no U.S, city ranks in the top 20," says Ian Wright, head of Expert Market. "Hotel rooms and other expenses are very high in New York and San Francisco, so it is a surprise they are not ranked towards the top of the list."
Still, as Utrecht-based BCD Travel noted in its research for this report, the United States spends more on business travel than any other country in the world. In 2015, business travel spending reached $310 billion in the U.S. It's a staggering figure when you realize that No. 2 China spent only $225 billion in business travel spending in 2013, with no other country even coming close to $200 billion.
That said, international business travel gets costly. Among the ten priciest locations, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is a relative bargain at $495 a day. Meanwhile, government currency controls and high crime push the cost of doing business in Caracas, Venezuela to $611 a day. That's considerably more than companies spend to send someone to Paris ($502 a day), London ($508), Hong Kong ($523) or Geneva ($547).
Meanwhile, while the average international trip cost U.S. businesses $2,525, the average cost of a domestic business trip in the United States was $990.Even Expert Market revealed that its U.S, team is able to make many more business trips in a year than the company's staff in European markets, largely because of the lower costs. However, as the Business Travel News corporate travel index reveals, it isn't exactly cheap to stay in popular U.S. business destinations, either -- even when you sub in chain restaurants for pricier fare: