Are These the 10 Best U.S. Cities for Business Travel?

When you travel on business, you don’t typically have much choice in where to go. You fly wherever business takes you, whether it’s to Paris or Peoria, Kalamazoo or Kandahar.

But if  you did have a choice, what factors would weigh most heavily in your decision? On Call International, which provides travel-risk management for corporations, considered the following criteria to compose their list of the 10 best U.S. cities for business travel:

  • Number of on-time flights
  • Cost of lodging
  • Reliability of mobile network coverage
  • Traffic congestion levels
  • Emergency room efficiency (includes the average door to diagnostic times and how often a person leaves a medical facility without being treated)

I wouldn’t have included emergency room efficiency in my own list of decision-drivers, but the other factors are inarguably well worth considering. As is the weather. For a meeting in January, I’d choose Miami over Chicago every time, all else being equal. I’d also add entertainment (theater, museums, dining, and so on) as a consideration, since most business trips leave at least some time for discretionary activities.

Nitpicking aside, here’s how the ranking of U.S. business destinations played out, using On Call’s five factors:

  1. Detroit
  2. Phoenix
  3. Cleveland
  4. Minneapolis
  5. Denver
  6. Dallas
  7. Sacramento
  8. Tampa
  9. Orlando
  10. Houston

It’s an interesting list, and, I suspect, not an uncontroversial one, beginning with the top pick. Detroit is the country’s best business-travel destination? Improbable or not, it’s food for thought. And usefully, it raises the question…

Reader Reality Check

… What criteria would you use to compile a list of the best business cities?

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.