Popular Cities for Business Travel

Getting to Know the Top Destinations for Business Trips

Using our trove of business travel data, American Express Global Travel (GBT) has shared a snapshot of the past year's business travel statistics, including top destinations for business trips around the world. Many travelers use these business trips not just to seal deals and move their businesses forward, but also to see what these wonderful cities have to offer. According to a study by BridgeStreet® Global Hospitality,[1] a sizeable 83% of the travelers who were surveyed stated that they use time on their business trips to explore the cities to which they travel. With this in mind, American Express Global Business Travel takes a look at some of these popular locations for business. Use these fast facts to get to know these world-class cities a little better, and get some ideas on how to include a little bit of leisure time into your upcoming business trips.

 Top 5 US Destinations for Business Trips:

  • Chicago: America's "Second City" actually came in at number one on our list of top domestic business trip destinations. Home to a long-standing financial services hub in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the city also boasts a burgeoning technology industry. Take some time away from your business trips to the City of Broad Shoulders to take in the world class architecture, a Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field, or the impressive Impressionist collection housed at the Art Institute of Chicago. 
    • Top Industries: Financial services, Engineering, Publishing, Food processing[2]
    • Top Attractions: Willis Tower, Wrigley Field, Art Institute of Chicago

  • San Francisco: If you find yourself in the City by the Bay, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the leisure time you have on business trips. A popular tourist destination for travelers from all over the world, the technology boom in Silicon Valley is continuing its spread into San Francisco with companies like Twitter and Google moving into new facilities in the city. While you're here, head out to Alcatraz to see the former island prison that housed the likes of Al Capone and Whitey Bulger, enjoy some fresh seafood at Fisherman's Wharf, or appreciate the Pacific views out at the Golden Gate Bridge—if there's no fog, that is.
    • Top Industries: Tourism, Technology, Financial services[3]
    • Top Attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf

  • New York: The Big Apple is a big business trip destination for travelers of many industries, as the city is home to businesses from all over the world. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, take a stroll through the immense Central Park that is flanked on either side by world-class museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. If you'd like to stay in the heart of it all, grab tickets to a Broadway show, or check out the views of this massive metropolis from the top of the legendary Empire State Building.
    • Top Industries: Financial services, Media, Communications, Technology[4]
    • Top Attractions: Empire State Building, Central Park, Statue of Liberty

  • Philadelphia: This city is home to a wide range of big business as well as some of the greatest landmarks from the time of America's founding. Those visiting Philadelphia on business trips can see the famously cracked Liberty Bell near Independence Hall, site of the Constitutional Convention. Art and movie buffs alike can also enjoy the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest museums in the country, and run up the front steps just like Rocky.
    • Top Industries: Bio-science, Financial services, Tourism[5]
    • Top Attractions: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Phoenix: Tucked in at the base of the McDowell Mountains, this desert city is a popular destination for suntan-seekers as well as travelers on business trips. Home to high temperatures and the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art, Phoenix offers many business travelers a welcome winter reprieve.
    • Top Industries: Technology, Tourism[6]
    • Top Attractions: Desert Botanical Garden, Heard Museum, Phoenix Museum

Top 4 International Destinations for Business Trips:

  • London: The leading international destination for business trips is also the world's most popular destination for trips of all kinds, with 18.82 million visitors expected in 2015, according to a study by The City of London, also known as "The Square Mile," is the home of a great many multinationals and vies with New York City as the world's leading financial center. Those heading to London on business trips can expect to see incredible architecture, whether it's the Gothic of the Palace of Westminster or the modern stylings of the city's financial district and, if time permits, view some of the ancient world's greatest treasures at the British Museum.
    • Top Industries: Financial services, Professional services, Media, Tourism, Technology[8]
    • Top Attractions: Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster, British Museum

  • Toronto: Canada's most populous city, Toronto, sits on the wide waters of Lake Ontario and is home to one of the world's most diverse urban populations. Business travelers who enjoy shopping will find few better places to do so than Eaton Centre and the Mink Mile. Those short on leisure time can take in the city all in one view from atop CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.
    • Top Industries: Financial services, Manufacturing, Tourism[9]
    • Top Attractions: Toronto Eaton Centre, CN Tower, Mink Mile

  • Mexico City: Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas. Built by the Spaniards atop the former Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, today's visitors can see beautiful buildings that date to the 16th century just a short walk away from the Aztec ruins.
    • Top Industries: Consumer products, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Financial Services[10]
    • Top Attractions: National Museum of Anthropology, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Chapultepec

  • Cancun: A highly popular tourist destination and site for business meetings of all kinds, Cancun is of course home to a thriving hospitality industry. Many are drawn to the area by its many breathtaking beaches and its proximity to Chichen Itza, the largest city of the great Mayan civilization.
    • Top Industries: Tourism & Hospitality[11]
    • Top Attractions: Chichen Itza