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Survey Reveals the Social Habits of Business Travelers
Before starting to work for a travel industry publication, I always had the impersonation that business travelers were lonely people. I imagined that it would be a sad, solitary experience to always be on the road, away from family and friends. But since I've done a little bit of traveling for work since starting here, I'm starting to learn that that's not the case at all. Business travelers know how to make connections with people no matter where they wind up.
And a recent study by FourPoints by Sheraton confirms that the majority of business travelers are actually quite social while out on business. The study polled a total of 6,000 business travelers globally – 1,000 each from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Germany, and Brazil. And it turns out that the respondents weren't just holed up in their hotel rooms, ordering room service all alone.
“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.”
Not surprisingly, the hotel bar seems to be a big draw for business travelers. The largest share of respondents (42.88 percent) named grabbing drinks or a bite to eat at the hotel bar or restaurants as their favorite activity, outpacing other pursuits such as going to the gym (38.97 percent) or spa (37.54 percent) or shopping (34.16 percent).
Also, a good portion of poll participants said that they have kept in contact with someone they've met while traveling for work. 64.42 percent 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 percent who said they had not.
And among the most social groups are Chinese and Indian travelers. Chinese business travelers are the most receptive to sharing a flight with a co-worker (49.5 percent), and a full 70 percent 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 percent) and the most likely to catch up with friends who live in town (52.63 percent).
But despite enjoying grabbing drinks together or connecting with someone new, business travelers do draw the line at sharing flights with coworkers. The majority (61.13 percent) would rather not share a flight with colleagues.
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