Alvin Brickman for Metrosetter Wire
Business travelers may think twice when planning business-travel destinations with the findings of a recent study being released, listing cities with the highest traveler’s taxes. Read which cities were on the list after the jump.
The Global Business Travel Association’s study collected travel tax data for the top 50 U.S. travel destinations.
Chicago was found to have the highest total tax burden, where business travelers spent about $40.31 in a single day on travel taxes. Following Chicago in the list were New York City, with an average of $37.98 spent daily on taxes, Boston ($34.83), Kansas City ($34.58), Seattle ($34.43), and Minneapolis ($34.32).
Business travelers with the lowest total tax burden were Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach, Florida, each costing about $22.21 daily.
Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation senior director of research, said that, “Business travel is a key driver of economic growth, but overly burdensome taxes on business travel can often do more harm than good, especially when those taxes unfairly target visitors. Cities and states must think carefully about the sales that local businesses will lose because of the higher costs that travel taxes impose.”
The study found that car rental, hotel and meal taxes are often used to fund projects unrelated to tourism and business travel. In other words, business travelers are paying for local projects that will not directly benefit future travelers, even though they are already contributing to the city’s economy simply by selecting the city as a location to conduct business.
Bates continues: “Tax rates that spike add another dimension for travel managers and local businesses. If spending one night in Chicago is 81 percent more expensive than visiting Ft. Lauderdale, for example, it can have an effect on where businesses decide to meet, hold events, and spend their travel dollars.”
While it is probably not surprising to most that certain cities exploit business travelers and tourists, it will be interesting to see if Florida and California begin to receive more traffic from business conventions and film productions, for example.