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Rising stars: The business hubs of the future

As much as we love Aotearoa, it's not the only place where start-ups are thriving. Joshua Nu’u-Steele, New Zealand area manager for Booking.com, shares three cities whose time is now.

Top image: El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore in ​Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Ben Mack.

In an increasingly globalised world, entrepreneurs and business decision makers are not only thinking bigger, but further afield. With this diversification of business prospects comes the rise of some business travel hubs you might not expect. But which destinations are the rising stars, and why? According to data from Booking.com for Business, some of the fastest-growing business hubs globally are Bangkok, Buenos Aires, and Hamburg.

Thanks to their booming economies, developing centres of innovation and improved travel connections, these cities are receiving more business traveller footfall than ever before. They are also all home to an emerging start-up scene.

So, what are the specific factors that are putting these destinations on the map? And where are the best places for business travellers to stay there? 

Bangkok, Thailand

As Asia’s second biggest city, and Thailand’s commercial capital, Bangkok is increasingly drawing in business travellers from around the world. With relatively affordable office space, advanced public transportation, and industry-leading hospitality, the city is open for business. Behind the city’s upsurge in business travel is its booming start-up activity, which is fully on display during its busy calendar of business networking events, such as Thailand Start-up Week and Start-up Weekend Events. If you don’t want to wait for a conference to network, head to the Sathorn district to experience the full force of the start-up scene.

Where to stay: Bangkok is fully equipped to meet the needs of any business traveller – and the options for places to stay are plentiful. The city boasts high-end hotels and serviced apartments in the city centre – putting business travellers in the midst of the action. I’d recommend checking out The Landmark Bangkok, located in the Bangkok Central Business District, where guests can enjoy both private workspaces and panoramic views of the city at the same time. 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is certainly making headway as one of the world’s most prominent tech hubs, recently being dubbed the Silicon Valley of Latin America. In fact, it is home to four out of ten companies in Latin America considered “unicorns” – companies whose valuation exceeds $1 billion. The city was also recently recognised for its efforts in building a start-up cluster, winning the Cities Challenge of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. With Argentina investing deeply in venture capital and implementing legislation to remove barriers to business and investment.

Where to stay: Puerto Madero is the financial district of Buenos Aires, adorned with skyscrapers and the headquarters of many large corporations. It is also home to popular high-end steakhouses that are perfect for hosting business lunch meetings. Close by business travellers looking to unwind between meetings can take a stroll around the nearby lakes at the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, before checking into nearby accommodation. The suites at Lemon Apartments are complete with a kitchenette and dining area - ideal for business travellers looking for spaces suited to longer term stays.

Hamburg, Germany

Long under the radar, Hamburg has recently emerged as an entrepreneurial hub. Nurturing a culture of innovation has paid off, with a recent study revealing that Hamburg beat Berlin for the most entrepreneurs per capita last year. Thanks to initiatives such as the Startup Dock at the Technical University of Hamburg, the city is seeing its students develop into entrepreneurs who are bringing a greater start-up mindset to the region.

Where to stay: With its multitude of co-working spaces, Hamburg provides a welcoming environment for the start-up and entrepreneur community. Check out Werkheim, the biggest co-working space in Germany, to network and meet other business travellers working on the go. In the spirit of sociability and open workspaces, business travellers may want to opt for a place to stay such as the Henri Hotel Hamburg Downtown, a stylish and modern hotel with spacious suites and studios located in the economic centre of Hamburg.

Joshua Nu’u-Steele is New Zealand area manager for Booking.com.

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