Surprising Answer to Most Expensive U.S. City For Business Travel

What’s the most expensive city for U.S. business travel? Washington? New York? San Francisco?

Nope, it’s Santa Clara, California.

Santa Clara—116,468 at the 2010 census—is the priciest city in the U.S. for business travel, according to “Spend Trend: Where Business Travelers Spend Money”, a study from Concur, a provider of integrated travel and expense management services.

Santa Clara tops cities like New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston in expenses for rental cars, dining, ground transport, entertainment and lodging, the survey found. To shed a little more light on costs there, Santa Clara is located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Concur tabulated expenses in an “average spend”’ that came in at $644.64 for Santa Clara, compared with $628.37 for New York, $623.02 for San Francisco and $572.81 for Boston. Other top-ranked cities in terms of expense for business travel were Garden City, New York; Plano, Texas; and Bellevue, Washington.

The top five most-expensive international cities for business travel, using the same criteria, were Tokyo, Copenhagen, Perth, Sydney and Stockholm. Even Tokyo placed behind all U.S. cities except Washington, D.C., in terms of business expense.

Ranked by number of hotel stays, however, the top five U.S. cities were New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco and Orlando, Florida.

The survey also breaks down international business expenses including airfare, gas, and telecom for France, India, Canada and Germany, among other countries and expenses.

The full survey is here.