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Top 10 destinations for Aussie business travellers

Daisy Melwani

Political unrest, a strengthening economy and regional centres all play their part when it comes to where Australian business travellers are heading.

Australian business travellers are heading to cities in the United States in droves, more than any other country outside of the Asia Pacific region, according to latest statistics from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).

The data revealed the strengthening US economy appears to be driving an influx of business travellers to key US cities, with 7 out of the top ten international locations beyond APAC being located in North America. It also helps that Qantas just announced new services into San Francisco, and a deeper alliance with American Airlines for its customers.

The latest Travel Destinations report takes into account all flight bookings made directly with GBT for Australian-based travellers between March 2014 and April 2015, which also showed Sydney, Singapore and London as emerging markets within top destinations for domestic, APAC, and international business travel outside APAC, respectively.

Singapore, Auckland and Hong Kong emerge as the top three international destinations, highlighting the dominance of regional centres for Australian business.

“Singapore remains the leading business hub of Asia-Pacific, and with many large corporations having headquarters there, and we anticipate that it will remain a top international destination for Australian business travellers for some time to come,” American Express Global Business Travel, APAC, general manager, David Reimer said.

“The biggest change over the last twelve months is the growing dominance of the US as a priority market for business travel beyond APAC. While US cities comprised less than half of the top ten in 2013-2014, we’ve now seen that number increase to seven out of the top ten this year. This indicates the growing importance of the US to Australian businesses.”

When it comes to Australians travelling within the APAC region, the top five rankings remain unchanged from 2014, however the Philippines is a new listing to this year’s top ten rankings, coming in at ninth.

Top 10 total international destinations including APAC
Rank Destination
1 SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
2 AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
3 HONG KONG, CHINA
4 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
5 LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
6 SHANGHAI, CHINA
7 TOKYO, JAPAN
8 NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
9 SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES
10 MANILA, PHILIPPINES 

Meanwhile, London maintains a strong lead on its number one ranking outside of Asia Pacific, however the UK, Germany and Netherlands are the only European nations to make the top ten rankings. Paris, previously in the top 10, dropped out of this year’s rankings.

Top 10 international destinations excluding APAC
Rank Destination
1 LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
2 NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
3 SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES
4 LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES
5 HOUSTON, UNITED STATES
6 AMSTERDAM, NETHERLAND
7 CHICAGO, UNITED STATES
8 DALLAS, UNITED STATES
9 FRANKFURT, GERMANY
10 ORLANDO, UNITED STATES

Attributed to political unrest in 2014, Bangkok dropped out of the top ten this year, with Seoul taking a spot at eighth position, suggesting its continued emergence as a technology hub in Asia and globally.

Top 10 APAC destinations
Rank Destination
1 SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
2 AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
3 HONG KONG, CHINA
4 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
5 SHANGHAI, CHINA
6 TOKYO, JAPAN
7 MANILA, PHILIPPINES
8 SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
9 JAKARTA, INDONESIA
10 BEIJING, CHINA

Unsurprisingly, the most-booked domestic destination for Australian business travellers was, Sydney, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. These rankings are consistent with rankings from 2013-2014.

Top 10 domestic destinations
Rank Destination
1 SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
2 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
3 BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
4 PERTH, AUSTRALIA
5 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
6 CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
7 DARWIN, AUSTRALIA
8 MT ISA, AUSTRALIA
9 PORT HEDLAND, AUSTRALIA
10 MORANBAH, AUSTRALIA

Source:  American Express Global Business Travel AUS point of sale data destination analysis for April 2014 – March 2015.

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