The Top 10 Cities For Business Jetsetters: Guten tag, bienvenue, nǐ hǎo, namastē, come on in!

Pimsleur Approach • October 8, 2013 • Travel tipsComments (0)
Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot come

Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com

No matter the language, cities around the world are desperate to woo business travelers. But not all business excursions are the same. A financial company may prefer New York, London or Hong Kong, while a manufacturer’s demands may prompt a trip to Shenzhen or Myanmar.

Subsequently, the world’s metropolises are now desperate to show off what sets them apart in order to attract those business dollars. But nowadays, rebellious shirt-and-tie types want more than business-class travel and air-conditioned hotels.
They also want some down time to offset those interminable meetings and never-ending emails.

The question is, with the business map changing faster than ever, where should the weary corporate traveler go? Old World or New? East or West? Here are the 10 top destinations for a 21st-century business trip.

LONDON – THE ORIGINAL… AND STILL THE BEST

London may rate badly on cost, sustainability and demographics – and its new Walkie Talkie tower may turn the normally genteel English sun into a death-ray for a couple of hours every day during the summer – but the capital of the UK is, was and always will be one of the world’s leading business destinations. It has everything a modern city should have, amid centuries-old tradition, pomp and ceremony and an old-world style matched nowhere else.

NEW YORK – LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING IN THE BRASH BIG APPLE

Another one of the originals, the global financial capital of New York is like London – only bigger, louder, younger and in need of less sleep. No matter what the time, once you’re out of that meeting and have fired off that final email, you’ll find something to do, whether it’s enjoying a leisurely stroll through Central Park, taking in a Broadway musical, or staring, wide-eyed, at the electric wonderland of Times Square.

HONG KONG – WHERE EAST MET WEST FOR THE FIRST TIME

Image Credit: @ Libre de droits- Think Stock dot com

Image Credit: @ Libre de droits- Think Stock dot com

Bustling Hong Kong combines the best of East and West. Everything is set up for the business traveler, from hotels that cater to your every need to great food on almost every corner and a public transportation system that is so fast, clean and efficient that you don’t need to think about using a taxi. Aware of the city’s importance as a gateway to China, Hong Kong hotels work with their counterparts on the mainland to ensure two-way travel is as painless as possible.

SHENZHEN – NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

The electronics world knows all about Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong Province. As recently as 1979, it was little more than a small fishing and farming community, but it was selected as China’s first Special Economic Zone. The rest is history, as the area moved rapidly from small outpost to modern city with its own unique identity. There’s notably little left of the original community, but there’s plenty to marvel at in a city that, 40 years ago, simply wasn’t there.

FRANKFURT – EUROPE’S LITTLE MANHATTAN

Germany’s business powerhouse, with its variation on a New York skyline, has business in mind 24/7. It’s home to Germany’s stock exchange, as well as some of Europe’s biggest businesses and financial institutions; some even call it Bankfurt. It’s also a rather lovely place to visit. It has everything a business traveler could desire: a large airport hub, excellent communication systems and conveniently located five-star hotels. All this, and a welcome dash of Deutsche tradition, too.

DUBAI – DESERT OASIS

When you’re in this vibrant, 21st-century Gulf city it’s hard to imagine that, in the 1950s, it was a small Bedouin settlement. But if you have the time and want to regain a little post-meeting perspective, make sure you venture beyond its boundaries to the vastness of the desert beyond. Alternatively, relax on the beach, admire the astonishing Burj Khalifa tower, explore the ancient souks or hide from the stifling heat in the world’s largest shopping mall.

MUMBAI – INDIA IN MICROCOSM

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the chaotic vibrancy of a sprawling metropolis of 17 million people, where ancient temples huddle in urban slums. But take a few moments to gather yourself and look again at this city through calmer eyes. It is worth it, as Mumbai, where relics of colonial India rest easily next to Bollywood glamour, will leave a lasting impression.

YANGON – THOROUGHLY MODERN MYANMAR

Life, business, and simply everything are changing so rapidly in Myanmar that it can be difficult to keep up. On paper, it seems to have everything it needs to become another Asian economic powerhouse. At least that’s what many businesses are thinking, which is why Myanmar, and Yangon in particular, are growing fast. It isn’t perfect – the country is plagued by social, structural and technical problems – but the canny business traveler on the lookout for the next big market could do worse than see if it’s worth getting in on the ground floor.

TOKYO – WHERE THE NEW HIDES THE OLD

Block after block of high-tech, high-rise buildings hide the “real” Tokyo from prying visitors. If you can, seek out those little enclaves of history hidden in plain view in this city of the future. Those secret parks, temples and shrines are as important to 21st-century Tokyo as the suit and briefcase. Be sure to dawdle in the Ginza shopping district and head to the fish market in Tsukiji, where you can try the freshest seafood from hole-in-the-wall vendors.

PARIS – BUSINESS, FRENCH-STYLE

Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com

Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com

Civilized London trades on tradition. Brash New York shouts its successes from the rooftops. Ultra-modern Tokyo is where the present crashes headlong into the future. Shiny Shenzhen is all hustle and ambition. But no city oozes style and charisma quite like Paris. It boasts an amazing collection of cobbled lanes, sidewalk cafes and neo-classical stone houses, and it’s also a formidable international financial center. It’s that je ne sais quoi that sets Hausmann’s “City of Light” apart and keeps it firmly among the world’s leading business destinations.

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