TOP 20 US Business Cities: 2019 vs 2023

Written by     on    22 Nov, 2023     0      

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, the travel industry, encompassing both leisure and business travel, has been diligently working to recover and return to its pre-pandemic levels on a global scale. With a staggering 65% decline in the tourism sector during the first half of 2020, the anticipation for a recovery has been palpable.

As we step into 2023, often dubbed the “new normal” year, for Business has undertaken a comprehensive examination of how the rankings of international and domestic travel destinations within the US have evolved in the post-pandemic era.’s data reveals that while some cities have maintained their positions in the rankings, others have either dropped or newly entered the top 20.

The objective extends beyond merely facilitating business travel; it also entails gaining insights into the changing trends of business travel. for Business gathered this data by analyzing customers who indicated that they were traveling for business purposes in 2019 and comparing their patterns with the corresponding period in 2023.

Overall winners and runner-ups

overall numbers

In the quest to return to pre-COVID-19 levels of business travel, numerous cities experienced shifts in their rankings, either witnessing growth or decline in popularity among travelers.

Remarkably, New York City held onto its top position across all rankings. Furthermore, when combined with Las Vegas, these two cities accounted for a significant 25% of the total gross bookings within the top 20 destinations. Explore what the other leading business travel destinations in the United States have to offer.

Notable changes included Queens and Phoenix losing their former positions, making way for Charlotte and Nashville to take their spots. Meanwhile, Miami, Denver, and Orlando each ascended by two ranks, and Boston improved from 12th to 11th place. Notably, Denver stands out as the sole city to fully recover its 2019 gross bookings numbers by 2023.

Domestic business travel

domestic business travel

In the context of domestic travel, it specifically pertains to travelers originating from within the United States and journeying to various U.S. cities. In general, domestic tourism in the United States has seen a notable uptick since 2022, encompassing both leisure and business travel. This article delves into an extensive exploration of the cities that have attracted the highest number of business travelers.

New York City maintains its unshakable position as the top choice. Notably, NYC not only secures the first spot in all lists, whether for domestic or international bookings, but it also stands out as the only location where the number of domestic travelers surpasses that of international ones, with a staggering 78.6% more domestic travelers. Additionally, New York City alone contributes to almost a quarter of the total gross bookings.

Meanwhile, cities like Las Vegas, Houston, Austin, and New Orleans have made significant leaps in the top 20 rankings, leaving a prominent mark on the corporate travel landscape in the U.S. Denver’s impressive ascent is worth highlighting, as it has surged from 20th place to 16th place.

On the flip side, Dallas witnessed a decline in popularity among domestic travelers, causing it to slip out of the top 20 for domestic travel rankings, although it still managed to secure the 15th position in the international ranking.

International business travel

international business travel

The United States boasts one of the world’s highest levels of international tourism. Projections indicate that spending by international arrivals could reach $198 billion by 2025, a noteworthy increase compared to the $181 billion recorded in 2019.

Remarkable shifts have occurred in the popularity of the top 20 cities that have been welcoming international business travelers in the post-COVID era, spanning across the nation. Interestingly, the gross bookings have been distributed relatively evenly among these cities, with the initial seven cities collectively hosting over 50% of all international travelers.

Notable success stories among these cities post-Coronavirus include Nashville and Charlotte, both of which have advanced by three places in the top 20 rankings, while Washington and Miami have each risen by two places. In contrast, Portland has slipped out of the top 20, creating an opening for Boston to secure a spot on the list.


Statistics for this article are based on the number of gross bookings made for business purposes on the platform, between the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2023 in the United States.

International Monetary Fund: Impact of the pandemic on tourism
Navigating toward a new normal: 2023 Deloitte corporate travel study
Statista: Domestic tourism in the U.S. – statistics & facts
U.S. Tourism & Travel Statistics 2023
GBTA: Global Business Travel Industry Forecast is for Accelerated Rebound, Spending to Reach $1.8 Trillion by 2027 for Business: How US business travel recovered after Coronavirus (COVID-19)

BIO: Andrea Capecci is a freelance SEO Specialist at for Business

Tags :  business travel

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