Trending Business Travel Destinations 2024

What destinations are on the map for 2024?

As we usher in a new year of business travel, there is a feeling of positivity and growth in the air. International travel is firmly back on the agenda and the global business travel market has “taken off” once again. With that in mind, you might be wondering which destinations will be the most popular for business travellers in 2024. Whilst cities such as New York, London, Tokyo, Dubai and Singapore remain at the top of the corporate travel destinations list, we are going to focus on some emerging markets for the year ahead.

1) India

A recent study has forecasted a growth rate of 12 – 14% for the Indian travel sector by 2025. This sharp rise is due to a number of advancements in technology, accommodation, and infrastructure as well as stable economic growth and decreasing airfares. Current projections position India as the fourth largest global spender in travel by 2030. Top cities for business travel include Bangalore (India’s Silicon Valley), Gujarat (imports and exports), Hyderabad (startup businesses), Kolkata (global companies), Mumbai (commercial centre), and Delhi (politics and trade).

2) Indonesia

According to recent figures, late 2023 saw a substantial growth in international visitors to Indonesia with a 65% jump from the previous year (nearly reaching pre-pandemic levels). This is only set to increase with a projected annual revenue growth rate of 5% in the travel industry from 2024 – 2028 (Statista). Factors that have helped boost Indonesia’s appeal include global events being held in the country (43rd ASEAN Summit) as well visa policies being relaxed and infrastructure being improved. Top cities for business travel include Jakarta (financial epicentre with multinational corporations), Surabaya (industrial hub), Bandung (creativity and innovation), and Medan (trading hub).

3) Nigeria

Nigeria is a developing market with ongoing government strategies to help attract business and investment through improving infrastructure and developing the private sector. The hotels market is the largest travel and tourism market (Statista) with several hotels and resorts opening up in recent years including international chains. Lagos is the top city for business travel and has the largest economy in Nigeria. The city is a hub for manufacturing companies, financial institutions, and the entertainment industry. Other top cities for business travel include Port Harcourt (oil-refining and multinational firms) and Abuja (fastest growing city in Africa with real estate as an economic driver).

4) South Africa

Business travel bounced back at a quicker rate than expected in post-pandemic South Africa, exceeding 2019 levels by 2022. According to the latest reports, airline seat capacity has increased 18% year-on-year globally and there has been a 26% growth in international business travel. Top cities for business travel include Johannesburg (centre for mining, manufacturing, and finance), Cape Town (IT and education), Durban (trade and transportation), Pretoria (government and manufacturing), and Port Elizabeth (automobile industry and exports).

5) Saudi Arabia

In 2023, Saudia Arabia’s travel and tourism industry had grown 12% on its pre-pandemic market size. By 2030, it hopes to double its number of business traveller visitors reaching 10 – 11 million. Many factors have contributed to its success including an ever-growing economy and a targeted strategy as a hub for business meetings, events, conferences, and exhibitions. Hotels have been developed at a fast rate with 30% more hotel rooms online in 2023 than in 2021. Top cities for business travel include Riyadh (largest city and one of the fastest growing economies in the world), Jeddah (largest port and epicentre of growing urban expansion), and Dammam (world’s richest oil area).

6) China

With China only reopening its borders in 2023, recovery from the pandemic has been slow compared to other business travel markets. Forecasts showed that the Chinese market would reach about 89% of its pre-pandemic level in 2023 and that by the end of the year, China would have returned as the number one business travel market in the world. With this in mind, China is set for a strong business travel resurgence in 2024. Top cities for business travel include Beijing (political and technological innovation centre), Shanghai (financial centre and emerging industries), Hong Kong (global trading and financial hub), Guangzhou (imports and exports), and Shenzhen (China’s Silicon Valley).

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, cities in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East will continue to grow over the next decade. Jakarta, Jeddah, Riyadh, Singapore and Hong Kong will be amongst the fastest growing cities. Beijing and Shanghai are forecast to continue to see the largest business spending in 2032.