Smartphones, tablets rule in business travel

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Most airlines plan to offer mobile services to passengers
Most airlines plan to offer mobile services to passengers

When modern day business travellers hit the road, they are usually armed with three or four mobile devices.

This is the main finding of a new survey by Starwood’s Four Points by Sheraton brand, which also found that business travellers are more likely to carry a tablet than a laptop and prefer to call home via video chat from their hotel room.

Unexpectedly smartphones were found to be the number one device, carried by 74% of business travellers, followed by tablets (65%), music players (43%) and laptops (32%). The impact of smartphones is also underlined by the discovery that after landing, the majority (54%) turn on their smartphone while the plane is still taxiing, while 12% admit to never turning it off in the first place. The remaining respondents wait until they are in the terminal or taxi (17% each). Checking their smartphone is also the first thing respondents do when they wake up in their hotel (36%). Only 19% turn on the TV first and 18% take a shower.

Tablets were also found to be more popular than laptops. According to the study, 68% of business travellers use their tablet more often than their laptop.

“The Four Points study contains compelling results, including evidence that trends such as staying in touch with family via video chat – preferred even over email, text and phone – are accelerating,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of specialty select brands at Starwood. “While hotel business centres remain important, the study affirms that the Four Points brand is meeting a continued need by offering complimentary Wi-Fi or in-room internet access.”

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