THE WORLD IN 2OO6
Business trip index
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s business trip index
The Economist Intelligence Unit has developed a new
way of assessing and comparing locations as potential
venues for business travel. It takes into consideration
both cost-related and environmental factors, which
together form an overview of how desirable a destina-
tion is likely to be to the business traveller. The index
looks at 127 cities worldwide. This note explains the
methodology and gives the overall ranking and rating
for each city.
Per diem rates
The traditional method that companies use for com-
paring business-trip destinations, for the purposes of
assessing their costs, is based on the calculation of a
“per diem” rate for travellers. This takes a basket of
goods and services typically required during a short
business trip in any given destination. Items are usually
selected, priced and calculated into a daily rate or al-
lowance designed to sustain the traveller for the length
of their trip.
This purely fi nancial approach has become the most
common benchmarking model used to compare desti-
nations for a short business trip.
The use of per diem rates stems from the long-held
perception that the client, rather than the location itself,
is the main reason for taking a trip. Per diem rates are
a relevant benchmark for calculating a daily allowance
for necessary travel to a given destination, such as for
Contrary to popular perceptions, however, business
travel is no longer driven primarily by this consid-
eration. The reasons for business travel are increasingly
varied. Surveys have shown that conventions, training,
corporate meetings and seminars now account for a
greater share of business travel than client meetings.
What is more, a large proportion of business travellers
(exceeding half in some surveys) try to combine busi-
ness travel with leisure time, such as vacations.
As a result, it is apparent that a more versatile ap-
proach is needed to assess destinations f