Agents' Choice 2020

Lonely road warrior? Not so much

Today’s business travellers are surprisingly social on the road, according to a recent survey by Four Points by Sheraton, Starwood Hotels’ “best for business”brand. Aside from sleeping, for instance, survey respondents indicated that enjoying the hotel bar or restaurant with colleagues or business partners was their number one activity during free time, outpacing time spent in the gym, spa, shopping or catching up with local acquaintances. In addition, business travellers are good networkers, with nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reporting that that they have kept in contact with someone they met on the plane or at the hotel while travelling on the road. About that flight, though: business travellers draw the line with their own colleagues, as more than 60% indicate that they would prefer to fly alone rather than with a business associate. These are among the results of a 2012 hotel business travel study commissioned by Four Points that polled a total of 6,000 business travellers globally – 1,000 each from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Germany and Brazil. The first phase of the survey, released in August, explored the use of mobile technology to stay in touch while travelling, while the second phase focused on leisure activities. “Business travellers have a real need to connect on the road – both virtually and in person,”said Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s senior vice-president, specialty select brands. “Our survey results reveal that road warriors are social, preferring to network or to relax in the company of colleagues rather than just enjoying solitary pursuits.”Among key survey findings: !!! During their waking hours, business travellers frequent the hotel restaurant or bar with colleagues more than other activities. Aside from sleeping, which, not surprisingly, is the activity that occupies the largest share of travellers’ time at a hotel, hanging out at the hotel bar or restaurant with colleagues or business partners is the top ranked activity on the road. The largest share of respondents (42.88%) named this activity, outpacing other pursuits such as going to the gym (38.97%) or spa (37.54%) or shopping (34.16%). !!! By a wide margin, business travellers confirm they stay in touch with contacts whom they’ve met on a flight or at a hotel. More than 64% of respondents indicated that they had stayed in touch with someone they had met on a plane or at a hotel while travelling, verses 35.58% who said they had not. !!! Business travellers prefer separate flights. They may be happy to toss back a brew with a co-worker once they arrive at their hotel, but the majority of business travellers (61.13%) report that they would rather not share their flight with a colleague.

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