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New York is the most expensive city in the world for business travel

The Empire State Building and the Manhattan skyline are seen from the Rainbow Room, New York City’s landmark restaurant atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in this Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Travel is always a part of the job for most business owners and managers–now more so than ever. The Global Business Travel Association, a travel industry trade group, predicts business in the corporate travel sector will have increased between six and seven percent by 2019 and 2020.

Of course, many American cities top the list of the most-expensive places for business travel, but can you guess which city is the most expensive in the world? Using data compiled from Business Travel News’ Corporate Travel Index, Expert Market, a business-to-business office equipment marketer, has concluded that three American cities take the top spots. New York City wins the crown. The typical business traveler spends about $549 per day in New York, compared to $534 in San Francisco and $511 in Boston. Tokyo and Zurich round out the top five. Washington and Chicago are also in the top 10.

The biggest cost are hotels. The average one-night stay in the Big Apple costs about $385.

So what’s the cheapest American city for business travel? At only $241 per day, less than half of New York, that would be Bakersfield, Calif.–a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles. If you’re going overseas, you may want to consider doing business in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the average daily cost is just $174. Any customers there?

There are some tactics business travelers can use to control their costs in 2018. A recent report looking at holiday season business travel by Concur, an expense management software provider, recommended business travelers shift travel days to Monday, Tuesdays or Fridays, consider local airports as an alternate to major hubs and avoid booking last-minute flights which could raise costs by as much as 44 percent.