While the world is becoming more health-conscious, business travellers are still heading to the hotel bar more often than the gym, according to a new study.
A survey by Starwood’s Four Points by Sheraton brand found that while staying at a hotel, the restaurant or bar are the places business travellers prefer to hang out most (43% of respondents), ahead of the fitness centre (40%), spa (38%) or shopping (34%). This fits with the finding that corporate travellers tend to be social creatures. The study found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed have kept in contact with someone they met while travelling for business. It appears however, that the company of strangers is more appealing than that of colleagues; more than 60% of business travellers indicated they would prefer to fly alone rather than with a business associate.
“Business travellers have a real need to connect on the road – both virtually and in person,” said Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s senior vice president of 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.”
Americans were found to be the most frequent business travellers, with more than a third (37%) saying they average more than 10 business trips per year, compared to just 7% of Chinese travellers.
But it is the Chinese, along with Indian business travellers, who tend to socialise more. Seventy percent of Chinese business travellers have stayed in touch with someone they met on the road, while Indian respondents were the most likely to hang out with colleagues at a bar or restaurant (61%) and the most likely to catch up with friends who live in town (53%).
Brazilians are the least open to travelling with a colleague; just 31% likely to hang out with colleagues at a bar or restaurant.
These Four Points by Sheraton survey polled a total of 6,000 business travellers globally – 1,000 each from the US, UK, China, India, Germany and Brazil.