If you run through the districts at the heart of the world’s great financial centres, few, in all fairness, are held to be the most interesting places to visit for the average tourist. But popular perceptions can so often be misleading. If you’re a student in the first year of a BS in business administration or a group of friends about to complete their business administration degrees, for instance, you could hardly hope for a more fascinating or valuable trip – after all, it makes sense to get a feel of what they’re all about before you find yourself there for real!
And it’s to that end that this roundup of three of the world’s essential travel destinations for a business student was put together….
Hong Kong Island
There’s no two ways about it, Hong Kong is on the up. In 2008 Forbes Magazine ranked the city as number two in its list of the ten most economically influential and powerful cities in the world (just behind London and above the mighty New York!)
But Hong Kong’s far from being just a sterile destination for business travellers: there are any number of interesting quarters – from the sights, sounds and gastronomic delights of Temple Street Night Market to the non-stop commerce of Stanley Market – which demand to be explored. What’s more whether seen from the heights of Victoria Park or from out across the bay, there’s a surreal beauty to its sparkling skyline that’s quite breathtaking.
Whether in literature, on screen or in popular imagination, Wall Street is simply synonymous with finance. Running east from Broadway to South Street on the East River through the heart of the city’s financial district and home to the New York Stork Exchange, it is still the central nervous system of the global economy. And you only have to stand, gazing up at the vertiginous buildings that line this bustling thoroughfare to feel its aura.
While it’s hardly held by visitors to New York to be one of Manhattan’s most interesting neighbourhoods, scratch beneath the gleaming, corporate surface and there’s more than enough to keep you busy. The first stop for visitors tends to be Arturo Di Modica’s “Charging Bull” statue; but the Art Deco splendour of 20 Exchange Place is well worth a look, along with other skyscrapers like the American International Building and 40 Wall Street, while Trinity Churchyard is an oasis of calm in amongst all the hustle and bustle – and a great place to stop for a sandwich!
The City of London
Like New York’s Wall Street, the City of London is a bona fide financial institution. If the bowler hats and canes are no longer used by the bankers and brokers, and the brash high-rises now soar over their older, more restrained counterparts, then there’s still something of the sense of grandeur and class about an area that used to be the administrative and financial heart of the world.
Standout monuments include the Natwest Tower, and Sir Norman Foster’s gleaming ‘Gherkin’ building; then of course there’s the Bank of England (and its fascinating museum – where you even get to lift a gold bar!) There’s plenty more in the way of history, too, whether it’s in the form of the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Stone or the wonderfully antiquated Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.