Today’s business travellers are surprisingly social on the road, according to a recent survey by the Four Points by Sheraton, the ‘best for business’ brand of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
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 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 per cent 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.
Four Points is growing rapidly across nearly 30 countries including Nigeria, where the Lekki, Lagos facility is over a year old and carefully monitors the needs and habits of business travellers. 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, adding: “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.”
McGuinness continued, “Four Points provides everything our guests need to be productive and comfortable on the road and that includes creating opportunities to connect socially through brand-wide programs like Best Brews, which invites guests to gather over a great local craft beer when the work day ends.”
Other key survey findings include that: 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 per cent) named this activity, outpacing other pursuits such as going to the gym (38.97per cent) or spa (37.54per cent) or shopping (34.16per cent).
Also, that: By a wide margin, business travellers confirm they stay in touch with contacts whom they’ve met on a flight or at a hotel. 64.42per cent of respondents indicated that they had stayed in touch with someone they had met on a plane or at a hotel while travelling, vs. 35.58 per cent 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 per cent) report that they would rather not share their flight with a colleague.
The Four Points by Sheraton brand is also the newest addition to the Starwood portfolio in Nigeria that already boasts of the Sheraton and Le Meridien brands