One of the comments that frequent business travellers get fed up of hearing at parties is from people who believe that the fact that they travel so much means their job must be exciting. Most business travel involves going from one office building to another for meetings and staying in hotels just long enough to eat and sleep before going on to the next round of meetings. Business travellers rarely get the opportunity to do any sightseeing, and often aren’t even sure where they are – the interior of the majority of offices and hotel rooms are the same the world over.
But, having travelled to so many interesting cities without the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, where do business travellers go on holiday?
The most popular holiday destinations
The latest figures published by the Office of National Statistics show that more people travel abroad for holidays than for business trips, suggesting that business travellers prefer to keep business and pleasure separate. There are similar statistics for overseas visitors to the UK. This year, a survey by Airbnb and Pinterest found the majority of the most searched for destinations weren’t business hubs at all, i.e. Santorini, Bora Bora, Reykjavik, the Scottish Highlands, French ski slopes, Tenerife and Sharm El Sheikh. However, as New York, Kyoto and Barcelona were also on the list, there may be a slight overlap of business and pleasure.
Specialist travel companies like Mr & Mrs Smith have noted a trend in experience travel rather than just ‘fly and flop’ holidays. The company’s co-founder James Lohan recently told the BBC that their clients are typically “a slightly clichéd cash-rich, time-poor person” looking for a “boutique adventure”, adding that “people are excited about things like kitchen gardens and provenance and being part of the hotel’s working, particularly us frazzled urbanites. We want to get back to nature and be involved with it all”. None of which suggests a desire for UK business travellers to revisit places they have been to on business.
Things are different in the USA
In America, younger business travellers are happy to extend their business trip to take time to relax and enjoy the cities they’ve been doing business in, often staying in the same accommodation. The research found around half of the Millennials do this regularly, as opposed to a third of Generation Xers, whereas the majority of Baby Boomers prefer to go home.
But why shouldn’t business travellers take time out to enjoy the places their work takes them? Who knows, staying on for a weekend might even help them do business better as it will give them a chance to get to know the local culture a bit better.
If you’re coming to North London on business and would like to add on a weekend and bring the whole family to come and join you, book one of our hotel apartments which will provide you with space and the best value for money.