As the largest economy in the world, it is no surprise that the United States remains one of the top destinations for business travelers. Every day, more than 1 million domestic business travelers fly between the nation’s economic hubs.
When the 2020 pandemic caused business travel to grind to a halt, the corporate travel industry lost more than $90 billion in revenue. However, two years on, the pandemic is on its way to becoming endemic, and business travelers are again on the move. While the segment is regenerating slowly, business travel in the most popular destinations is rapidly accelerating.
Previously named one of the best destinations for leisure-infused business trips, Philadelphia offers an attractive combination of affordable accommodation and lively nightlife. The downtown core is easy to navigate on foot and is full of historic landmarks and charm.
As the largest city in Pennsylvania and the second only to New York City on the East Coast, Philadelphia is home to a range of industries and the home base of behemoths such as IBM and Lockheed Martin. The city’s state-of-the-art convention center also attracts more than 100,000 conference attendees every year.
Around 12 percent of the city’s annual visitors come for business purposes, and that number grows year over year. While business traveler revenue hasn’t yet rebounded to its pre-pandemic numbers, Philadelphia’s recovery is outpacing other high-profile destinations, such as San Francisco.
Best known for its rich history and unique food scene, the Windy City is also one of the most robust manufacturing centers in the nation. Chicago is also home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, and once led the nation in educated residents. This combination of attractive factors has influenced major companies like Walgreens, Caterpillar, and Boeing to make Chicago the center of their operations. Thus, business travelers make up a sizable percentage of Chicago’s more than 50 million annual visitors.
Chicago is a popular hub for both domestic and international business travelers. The city’s international airport is well-connected to financial and business districts by a high-quality public transportation system. Chicago hotels are also accustomed to hosting business travels, so perks like in-house business centers and conference rooms are the norm.
As the uncontested cruise capital of the world and a top-ranking tourist destination, Miami is a popular stop for business travelers working in the arts, entertainment, and hospitality industries.
Its cultural and geographic proximity to the Latin-American and Caribbean markets has also turned Miami into an ideal headquarters for multinational corporations such as Cisco, Nokia, and Visa International.
The city is extremely convenient for business travelers. Uber and rental car companies are readily accessible, and nearly every major hotel chain has a Miami location. Business travelers also have a multitude of impressive restaurants and lounges perfect for wining and dining clients.
Business-class flights depart from Miami’s multiple airports, including Miami International, Miami Executive Airport, and the Opa-Locka airport.
New York City
No list of American business destinations would be complete without New York City. The city is considered the world capital of multiple industries, including fashion, finance, and commercial banking. While the metropolis welcomes far more leisure travelers, business travelers contribute an outsized percentage of tourism revenue.
New York City was hit particularly hard during the pandemic and was the epicenter of the United States between March and May 2020. Two years on, New York City is poised to make a comeback. The Big Apple prepares to welcome more than 55 million visitors in 2022, a remarkable jump from the 23 million in 2020.
Like other East Coast cities, New York City has a sprawling metro system that easily transports travelers from the airport to destinations across the city. Increasingly, travelers are turning to AirBNBs and coworking spaces rather than traditional hotels.
Historically the heart of Texas’ oil and gas and aerospace industries, Dallas is quickly emerging as a major hub for technology and financial services. The city’s well-developed infrastructure, business-friendly environment, and affordable cost of living have enticed some of the most promising startups to relocate to or launch their business ventures in Dallas.
After experiencing a COVID-related dip in tourists, the city saw a rebound in 2021. Most business travelers will land in either the Dallas International Airport or the smaller but busy Dallas-Love Field. Both airports are connected to the downtown by the efficient DART transit system. Dallas often ranks highly amongst business travelers due to its easy-going pace, a plethora of restaurants and bars, and affordable prices.