Why Business Travel Costs Vary Significantly By City

October 9, 2019

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Event planners and business travelers alike should be aware of the additional costs that come with launching an event in a coastal city, a new study finds.

A big city or coastal locale might seem like the best way to draw in attendees, but a new report shows that those locations often come with a big additional cost.

According to new research from the living costs services firm Runzheimer, business travel to a high-cost city or state costs up to 54 percent more than the national average of around $1,293, thanks to higher expenses for airfare, ground transportation, and lodging. What’s more, Runzheimer expects each of these costs to grow in 2020: airfare by up to 1 percent, ground transportation by 2 percent, and hotel prices by 2 to 3 percent.

So, where are these expensive locales? While Hawaii is the most expensive state on the firm’s ‌2019 Cost of Business Travel Report [registration], the rest of the list paints a more telling picture. Per the report, nearly all of the other states in the top 15, with the exception of Minnesota, are coastal, with a particular lean on the Northeast and West Coast. Additionally, 10 of the 15 most expensive cities for business travelers—such as New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle—are on the East Coast or West Coast in the lower 48.

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