Amex research reveals North American dominance of business travel

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Amex research reveals North American dominance of business travel

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North America dominates long haul business travel from the UK with four cities in the top ten, but emerging economies and technology hubs are also popular, research released today shows.

Shanghai dropped out of the top ten most-booked international destinations outside Europe as bookings by UK-based travellers to China dropped by 17% year-on-year in 2015, potentially reflecting international concerns about the country’s economic situation.

Although Chinese locations, and Asia in general, were down last year, the more longstanding business travel destinations of Singapore and Hong Kong still performed well, according to Amex Global Business Travel.

Singapore jumped up one place to fifth compared to the previous year.

New York and San Francisco led bookings outside Europe by UK-based travellers, with Boston and Chicago also in the top ten.

San Francisco, which was ranked third in 2014 rankings, has replaced Dubai as the second most popular destination, suggesting that the technology hub of Silicon Valley has increased in importance for business relationships.

Dubai’s lower ranking may also be symptomatic of the general trend of reduced business travel from Europe to the Middle East, according to the travel management company.

The presence of Johannesburg in fourth place and Mumbai in tenth cements the growing importance of emerging markets to UK businesses.

Tel Aviv, absent from the 2014 rankings, is in eighth position, indicating that UK businesses are taking increased interest in the city’s renowned start-up ecosystem, the TMC says.

The data covers all air and rail bookings made directly with the TMC by UK-based travellers in 2015.

Amsterdam remains the most popular business travel destination in Europe for UK business travellers.

Dublin is in second place followed by Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Copenhagen, Milan and Stockholm.

Dusseldorf dropped out of the top ten last year, however, the addition of Stockholm suggests an increasing interest in the Nordic region from the UK, the travel management company says.

London was the most booked domestic destination for the second year running, followed by Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton and Leeds.

The inclusion of the Yorkshire city into the rankings reinforces the increasing importance of the north as a business hub in the UK, the company says.

Amex Global Business Travel UK vice president and general manager, Jason Geall, said: “This data reveals that, whilst there is consistency with 2014 and the USA clearly remains one of the most important destinations for UK business travellers, there have been some shifts in travel patterns from the UK at both a European and wider international level in 2015.”

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