Today’s business travelers are surprisingly
social on the road, according to a recent survey by Four Points by
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.
addition, business travelers 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
traveling on the road.
About that flight, though: business
travelers 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 travelers globally – 1,000 each
from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Germany
The first phase of the survey, released in August,
explored the use of mobile technology to stay in touch while
traveling, while the second phase focused on leisure activities.
“Business travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers’ 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
• By a wide margin, business travelers
confirm they stay in touch with contacts whom they’ve met on a
flight or at a hotel. 64.42% of respondents indicated that they
had stayed in touch with someone they had met on a plane or at a
hotel while traveling, vs. 35.58% who said they had not.
Business travelers 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 travelers (61.13%) report that they
would rather not share their flight with a colleague.
Differences by nationality:
• According to the survey, Americans are the most
frequent business travelers. American business travelers hit the
road more often than their international counterparts, with more
than a third (36.36%) reporting that they average more than 10 trips per year for business. Conversely, Chinese travelers were
the least likely to average more than 10 annual trips with only
7.07% of respondents at that level.
• Chinese and Indian
business travelers socialize more. Chinese business travelers are
the most receptive to sharing a flight with a co-worker (49.5%),
and a full 70% have stayed in touch with someone they met on the
road. Indian road warriors are the most likely to hang out with
colleagues at a bar or restaurant (61.05%) and the most likely to
catch up with friends who live in town (52.63%).
Brazilians go it alone. At 31%, Brazilians are the least open to
traveling with a colleague, with 53.62% reporting that they don’t
want to have to worry about anyone else. They are also the least
likely to hang out with colleagues at a bar or restaurant
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