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New Egencia ranking: winners and trends in global business travel

A recent study published by Egencia revealed that London is no longer the top destination for business travel, though it still leads the pack in Europe.

So which city is the new favourite among business travellers? And what are the key takeaways from the report? Read on to discover the latest winners and trends in business travel.



Which cities top the list of today’s business travellers?


The Egencia study focused on the global demand for business travel flights. While the number one city in 2014 was London, as mentioned above, by the 2018 edition a new leader had emerged: New York City is now the most frequently visited destination for business travellers.


Voting with their bookings, corporate travellers around the world declared the Big Apple the new nerve centre of global business travel, with flights to the city exceeding flights to London by 10 percentage points.


The UK capital still tops the list of European destinations. It moved down one notch in the global ranking and is followed by Paris in third place. The City on the Seine has experienced a 20% increase in travel bookings for business travellers since the last report.


However, these were the only two European cities to make the cut for the world’s top 20 destinations for business travellers.


Here is the complete list as reported by Egencia:

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Paris
  4. Shanghai
  5. Toronto
  6. Singapore
  7. San Francisco
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Tokyo
  10. Chicago
  11. Dubai
  12. Mexico City
  13. Boston
  14. Montreal
  15. Beijing
  16. Los Angeles
  17. Mumbai
  18. São Paulo
  19. Casablanca
  20. Seoul



After NYC, London and Paris, Asian cities made a strong showing in the new ranking, with Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo all in the top ten.


Among Middle Eastern cities, Dubai ranked first (11th in the global ranking), while South America’s winner was São Paulo (18th) and the North African favourite was Casablanca (19th).


One rather surprising statistic is that among North American destinations, Toronto captured fifth place, surpassing traditionally frequented and consolidated American cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. Canada was also represented by Montreal, the second most populous city in the country, which ranked 14th.

Business travel trends


The new figures from Egencia are encouraging with regard to business segment bookings.


The analysis was performed on data from small and medium-sized enterprises as well as multinational concerns, demonstrating that global mobility is indeed an unstoppable trend – and one that is not limited to large companies.


From the start of 2014 to the end of 2018, business travel purchases grew by around 110% globally, with a peak of 120% for the single top-ranked destination, NYC. Bookings to London increased by 80% and to Paris by 120%, as mentioned above.


The most sensational growth was found for flights to Singapore, which reached almost 160% in the five years of the analysis.


What are the key takeaways for steakholders in the business travel market?


The fact that five continents are represented in the ranking of the top 20 destinations underscores the consolidated trend towards global mobility.


Although there are differences between product sectors, it is now clear that there are no geographical limits to the market opportunities of companies operating around the world.


Particularly younger corporate travellers have supported this growing tendency and the conviction that travel is a fundamental stimulus for business growth.


Companies looking to reap the benefits of this trend will need to implement internal policies and travel management programs. They should also seek out partners to help them optimise their results by maximising the ROI of travel.


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