The Most Expensed Hotels for Business Travel in 2017

business travel

PORTLAND, MAINE—Certify, an automated travel and entertainment expense management software provider, released the results of its fifth, full-year SpendSmart Report analyzing U.S. business travel and expense spending trends for 2017. The report tracks business travel expense spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging, and car rental, and highlights top vendors and emerging trends with analysis of data from millions of expenses and receipts processed through the company’s system.

Average costs are up for the most part compared to 2016 data, with exceptions for cell phone, supplies, and car rentals. “A healthy business travel market is a key driver of a strong economy, and year over year we are seeing a sharp increase in our business travel data,” says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify. “Today, relatively new industries like ride hailing, room sharing, and meals management are maturing quickly as approved corporate suppliers at all levels of business.”

Review of the past four quarters compared to 2016 data showed that while alternative accommodations for business travel increased in 2017, alternative accommodations still represent just under 0.5 percent of the lodging category overall today for business travel.


“Coupled with leading class technology for ease and convenience, demand for traditional travel services also continues to grow,” Neveu continues. “We see a number of legacy travel providers securing their market position by investing in, and adopting and partnering with best in class technology. Certify is pleased to share this travel and expense data with the industry and our customers to establish a true baseline cost comparison for business travel.”

Neveu cited Starbucks as an example of an established travel brand that has continued to win over business travelers despite growing competition. Starbucks accounts for 6 percent of all Certify expenses and receipts processed in 2017, up 2 percent from the previous year, and it has also been the number-one most expensed restaurant in Certify SpendSmart data since the company began reporting on travel and expense spending in 2013. In addition to its growing expense count, Starbucks’ average transaction cost has also increased by $3.63 over the past five years ($9.03 to $12.94).


Most-Expensed Hotels in 2017

Hampton Inn: 8.95 percent, averaging $240.59
Marriott: 8.48 percent, averaging $272.15
Courtyard by Marriott: 7.4 percent, averaging $193.11
Holiday Inn Express: 4.63 percent, averaging $234.64
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.47 percent, averaging $227.87

Top Rated Hotels
Hyatt: 4.4
Marriott: 4.4
Westin: 4.4
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.3
Homewood Suites: 4.3

2017 Expense Category Breakdown (% of total spending, benchmark average)
Meals 19 percent, averaging $31.48
Airfare 15 percent, averaging $318.74
Hotel 13 percent, averaging $250.09
Misc. 15 percent, averaging $71.19
Fuel 19 percent, averaging $46.90
Taxi 1 percent, averaging $38.48
Cell Phone 4 percent, averaging $51.71
Car Rental 5 percent, averaging $190.37
Supplies 3 percent, averaging $65.88
Shipping 2 percent, averaging $103.66
Tolls 1 percent, averaging $31.74
Parking 4 percent, averaging $106.08