London and Vienna are the most visited destinations by European business travelers

London and Vienna are the most popular destinations in Europe for business travel. Beyond Europe, New York and Shanghai are the most frequented destinations for European business travelers. These and other findings emerged from BCD Travel’s analysis of its European air travel data, which has been published in the newly released annual “Cities & Trends Report.”

Business travel can be an indicator of economic growth: when business travel volumes rise or fall in a certain area, they usually reflect local economic developments. With the launch of its latest “Cities & Trends Report,” BCD Travel provides insights into both business travel and business growth. The report is based on flight booking data for eight major business travel markets in Europe: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The Spanish revival: Madrid and Barcelona on the rise

Compared to 2015, there was little change in the ranking for Europe’s most popular business travel destinations. The most frequented European cities are still London, Vienna and Amsterdam. With an increase in bookings of 7.1% in 2016, Barcelona climbed three spots from 9 to 6. Madrid, with an increase of bookings of 14.9% in 2016, is the highest new entry in this year’s report, clocking in at number 8 on the list. Spain’s economic revival explains Madrid’s and Barcelona’s strong showing: overall, the Spanish economy grew by 3.2% last year[1].


Dubai makes it to the top 3 in European intercontinental business travel

New York and Shanghai remain respectively the first and the second most popular intercontinental destinations for European business travelers. In 2016 they were followed by Dubai, which overtook Beijing and Singapore, thanks to a year-over-year increase in air bookings of 7.5%.

September is business travel time

BCD Travel’s data from 2015 and 2016 show limited seasonal fluctuation in air travel. Most business trips take place after the summer break in September (9.5%). Business travelers are least likely to travel in December (5.6%), due to the holiday season. 

Chris Crowley, Senior Vice President, Global Program Management & Commercial Services EMEA at BCD Travel, said: “September and October are the busiest months of the year for business travel. That’s why companies and travelers should book early to make sure they get the best flight connections.”

The full report can be downloaded via this link.

Click here for the most popular destinations for business travelers from the Benelux.