Business Destinations that are Here to Stay
When you think of the most likely destinations for business travel, New York, London and Hong Kong might immediately spring to mind. But Booking.com for Business, the global leader in connecting business travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has unearthed some of the fastest growing major international business destinations. So, what is pushing Berlin, Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur to the top of the business agenda and how can business travelers make the most of their accommodation and time in these cities?
With an estimated 1,800 to 2,400 active tech start-ups, Berlin is rapidly becoming an entrepreneurial hub with a worldwide reputation for innovation. Forged by art, film and design, businesses are allured by the city’s relatively low cost of living and outward-thinking visions of global trade which attracts people from across the world. Notable startups that are thriving here include the music streaming service SoundCloud and multi-service fashion platform Zalando. Tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, as well as Lufthansa, also have European headquarters or regional offices in the city, creating thousands of jobs and luring many business visitors. Prominent annual tech festivals such as Tech Open Air, Disrupt Berlin and hub.berlin also attract thousands of business travellers to the German capital each year.
Where to stay: Berlin has a relatively affordable and efficient public transportation system, so business travelers can access a variety of accommodation options across the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. If you are looking to stay centrally, the 5-star Mandala Hotel offers studios and suites in Mitte, a popular area for visitors. The boutique-style hotel, which features spaciously designed rooms complete with kitchenettes, is less than 100 yards from Potsdamer Platz Station and only a 10-minute walk to Berlin’s infamous neoclassical landmark and symbol, Brandenburg Gate. For the gourmets, the Mitte neighborhood is also home to the two-Michelin starred Rutz restaurant, perfect for regrouping with colleagues once the working day is over.
Built on commerce during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, Amsterdam today is a flourishing tech, IT and finance hub. With excellent travel infrastructure and a corporate culture that encourages entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into flourishing businesses, international business in Amsterdam is blooming. Uber, Netflix and Tesla use the city as their European headquarters, whilst 50 international banks including RBS, Citibank and Deutsche Bank can also be found here. It also has one of Europe’s busiest convention centres, RAI Amsterdam, which hosts many international trade fairs, exhibitions, congresses and sporting events, including IBC2018 - one of the world’s most influential media, entertainment and technology shows which attracts 57,000 attendees to the city each year.
Where to stay: Amsterdam’s city center is compact; meaning navigating around on foot or bicycle is easy. With that in mind, Amsterdam Canal Suites offers comfortable modern apartments with open-plan kitchens and living areas, within 17th century premises. Why not walk to your business meetings along the Amstel River, past the historic gabled houses? The exclusive apartments are one block away from the lively shopping street Utrechtsestraat, with numerous cafes and restaurants lining the streets to wine and dine clients.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Located centrally within Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, economic and financial center of Malaysia. Home to Petronas, the national oil and gas giant which is based at the city’s iconic 88-storey Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur also features a massive presence from international oil companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil. Multinationals IBM, Panasonic and GlaxoSmithKline have also made use of the city’s world-class infrastructure by setting up regional bases there. In recent years, conference and convention tourism has expanded as business delegates from India, China and the Middle East take advantage of the city’s strategic location on their trade routes. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, for instance, offers over 22,000 square-meters of exhibition halls, conference theatres and meeting room facilities for business delegations.
Where to stay: Situated within Kuala Lumpur Sentral, the city’s second Central Business District, Ascott Sentral Kuala Lumpur offers contemporary apartments conveniently located less than 700 yards from Sentral railway station, meaning you can get from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the hotel in just over half an hour. Wake up and swim a few laps in the building’s outdoor swimming pool before tucking in to the daily continental breakfast on offer to fuel the work day. NU Sentral Shopping Centre, a major retail hub in the city, is less than five minutes’ walk away, meaning you can pick up souvenirs for families and friends before you catch your flight home.
*Selected from the top 10 list of fastest growing business destinations, based on global business bookings in the period from August 2017-July 2018. Destinations were required to be in the global top 30 most booked business destinations in 2018 to be considered a major destination.