When it comes to global business, the right transportation is essential. Getting talent from one side of the globe to another matters as much as ever it has – and perhaps even more so. But which cities are the most attractive for modern business? This is a question whose answers have remained more or less the same over the last four or five years, despite the fact that global business flights have more than doubled.
The Big Apple leads the pack when it comes to inbound business flight, and it has done since 2014. This is largely thanks to its status as a centre of global finance, but it’s also because New York is among the most business-friendly states in the US, with a range of tax incentives offered to startups. Buzzfeed and WebMD originated here. Whether you’re taking a private jet or a commercial airliner, New York remains the world’s premier destination for business travellers.
London has consistently run a close second, despite the uncertainty still lingering over Brexit. Among the biggest draws of the capital is the English language, which remains the second most widely-spoken language in the world (and probably claims the top spot when we count only the customers of international airports). London contains around 15 businesses per hundred residents; the figure for the rest of the UK is around 10.
Paris is something of a fast-climber, experiencing around twenty-per cent growth over the two-year spell from 2016-2018. It’s easy to see why a business might locate here; Paris has an enormous amount of culture and history to offer, and thus it’s easy to persuade would-be staff to settle here. While France might have something of a reputation for overbearing bureaucracy (the word, is, after all, derived from a French one), the business environment is competitive enough to tempt many international businesses and skilled employees looking to sample life on the continent.
With China having established itself as a global power, it’s probably no surprise that its busiest airport is so attractive to international business customers. While the city isn’t quite as attractive to western travellers as the other entries to this list, it’s a location that no globalised business can afford to neglect – and this is reflected in its rapid rise as a centre of international air traffic.
Among the more interesting trends in global air traffic generally has been an increased spread between different continents, with five of the seven listed in the top twenty destinations. There is perhaps no better example of this than that of Shanghai.
Toronto outranks many US cities, including San Francisco, Houston and LA. As with New York, there is a range of incentives to businesses looking to grow here. The combined rate of corporate and income tax sits at around 26.5%, which is lower than the US average by around thirteen percentage points.
Like Dubai, Singapore claims a great deal of air travel thanks to its popularity as a stop-off for long-haul flights between Europe and Australia. But there’s more to Singapore than that. The country is widely regarded as an ideal place from which to tap into Asia’s emerging markets. The location is strategically attractive, the workforce is competitive and the economic policy is explicitly favourable to business. It’s also emerging as serious competition for Hong Kong’s financial centres. For the world’s business travellers, there’s no shortage of reasons to pay this part of the world a visit.