Most people will admit that business travel never comes cheap. In fact, U.S. domestic trips cost $990 on average during 2014, while international excursions cost more than double that at $2,525, according to a recent survey from Expert Market. However, these prices pale in comparison to Caracas.
Venezuela's capital has been named as the most expensive city for business travel, with employees spending an average of $611 a day, according to a recent report from Expert Market, an online business-to-business sourcing service.
Expert Market's study lists the cities that are costing companies the most money when travelling for business (79 in total), with many European and Asian metropolises leaving a gap in people's wallets.
Geneva, Stockholm, Hong Kong, London and Paris– all known for their sophisticated hotels and upmarket restaurants – all made the top 10, costing the customer more than $500 a day.
Surprisingly, U.S. cities didn't even break the top 20, with the affluent San Francisco (23rd) only costing $444 a day, followed by New York ($442). Guatemala City was ranked as the cheapest city for business travel, costing individuals $209 on average per day.
When comparing San Francisco to the likes of Caracas, Expert Market used Numbeo's database to show that a taxi's starting tariff costs 70 percent more in Caracas; and, at $25.50, a McDonald's meal in Caracas costs 237 percent more than in San Francisco.
"The US may not be home to any of the top 20 most expensive cites, but it does spend more on business travel than any other country in the world," said Michael Horrocks, website manager at Expert Market, adding that the spending in the US reached $274 billion in 2013, and is expected to reach $310 billion this year, for business travel.
It's not surprising that Caracas came top, especially with its current economic problems. Accounting for 95 percent of export earnings, oil is fundamental for Venezuela's economy, and with the price per barrel plummeting in recent months, this only means the inflation goes up, as does its corruption issue.
In the report, Expert Market said that the government's currency and exchange controls and the need to stay in secure hotels may have been a contributing factor to Caracas' high ranking. Furthermore, restaurant meals and even basic supermarket goods don't come cheap, with one liter of milk currently costing $5.14 - 336 percent more than a New York price (Expatistan data).
Expert Market published the results, based on research from BCD Travel's corporate client database, who are one of the world's largest corporate travel agents. The prices were based on how much BCD's own clients paid during a trip, and compared them, including expenses, car rental and hotel prices.
Most expensive cities for business travel: Top 10 (costs per day)