Mumbai and New Delhi are two top destinations for business travel in India, and with extremely good reason. Mumbai is India’s most populated city, and it does double duty as the country’s financial capital. New Delhi is the country’s capital, with the claim to fame of housing Connaught Place, one of the biggest financial and commercial centers in the northern portion of the nation.
Business travel costs for India can vary greatly, depending on multiple factors, including the length of your stay, when you’ll be traveling, and the type of Indian business visa you’ll be getting. We looked into business travel costs for India in February, with a six-night stay in Mumbai or New Delhi. We chose departure flights from three of the most bustling U.S. airports. Here’s what we found.
Overall Business Travel Costs for India
The expense management firm Certify puts the average cost of an international business trip at $2,600 per person, although the company doesn’t mention the length of stay.
Business Travel Costs for India: Average Flight Fees
Certify puts the average price of a round-trip, coach, international flight at $1,217, which is slightly higher than the ticket prices we found for India. Our research pinpointed flight prices from three major U.S. airports, flying to Mumbai and New Delhi. We uncovered ticket costs that ranged from $712 to $958.
Our research was limited to the “best flights,” or those with two or fewer stops, along with the most practical travel times and airfares. The airline selection included Air Canada, United, Etihad, and several others.
Flights out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Flying from LAX to India could take you anywhere from 20 hours and 15 minutes to more than 37 hours. The average price of the best flights appears below.
- LAX to Mumbai: $869
- LAX to New Delhi: $818
Flights out of Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Leave from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and your flight times range from 18 hours and 30 minutes to nearly 22 hours. The average flight cost is slightly higher than those flying out of LAX.
- IAH to Mumbai: $1,043
- IAH to New Delhi: $987
Flights out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Head to India from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and your travel time can span from 17 hours 20 minutes to 21 hours 35 minutes. The average ticket price appears below.
- ATL to Mumbai: $945
- ATL to New Delhi: $874
Business Travel Costs for India: Hotels
The average nightly stay at an international hotel runs $275, according to Certify. That rate was on par or even lower than some of the higher-end lodgings, such as the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi, although other hotels in both New Delhi and Mumbai ran much cheaper. We only looked at hotels that rated at least four stars from reviewers on TripAdvisor.
- Mumbai hotel rate range: $44 to $236
- New Delhi hotel rate range: $36 to $348
Business Travel Costs for India: Visa Fees
Depending on the length of validity of your business visa for India, you could spend anywhere from $337 to $417 for a business visa that’s processed within 10 to 15 business days. No other processing time frame is available as of January 2017. Costs include the consulate fee, processing fee, and service fee for assistance obtaining your visa.
Business Travel Costs for India: Per Diem Expenses
India uses the rupee as currency, with rupees denoted as Rs. Exchange rates regularly fluctuate, but $1 in U.S. currency was worth about 68 Rs on Jan. 18, 2017.
Daily business travel costs for India can range from about 800 Rs (about $11) to more than 33000 Rs (about $485), depending on how strict you are with your budget. Lonely Planet provided an overview of per diem costs in India, noting that most cities in India have ATMs readily available. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards, and you may want to carry some cash or traveler’s checks in case of emergency.
Divide the amount in Rs by 68 to get a general idea of how many U.S. dollars you’ll be spending based on the aforementioned exchange rate.
Up to 2000 Rs per day (about $29)
- All-you-can-eat meals: 120 Rs to 300 Rs
- Train and bus tickets: 300 Rs to 500 Rs
Between 2000 Rs and 8000 Rs (about $29 to $117)
- Dinner at mid-range restaurants: 500 Rs to 1400 Rs
- Admission to museums and attractions: 100 Rs to 1000 Rs
- Taxis and auto-rickshaws: 200 Rs to 500 Rs
More than 8000 Rs per day (about $117 and up)
- Dinner at superior restaurants: 1000 Rs to 4000 Rs
- Deluxe hotel room: 5000 Rs to 20000 Rs
Business travel costs for India may be able to fall within the average rate of $2,600 per employee, depending on how luxurious you want your accommodations and meals to be. Both high-end hotels and superior restaurant meals can eat up a large chunk of your budget, although the experience may certainly be worth it, especially if your company is footing the bill.