Four Points by Sheraton survey reveals mobile device habits of business travellers
Posted on 21-Aug-2012 10:10
Filed under: News
When today’s road warriors hit the trail, they are armed with three or four mobile devices to help them stay connected to office and home. They are more inclined to carry a tablet than a laptop. And, when these business travellers communicate with home from their hotel room, they are most likely do so with a video chat.
These are among the results of a hotel business and technology study commissioned by Four Points by Sheraton Hotels, a Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. brand.
The survey polled a total of 6,000 business travellers globally – 1,000 each from the United Kingdom, Germany, United States, China, India and Brazil.
Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands, commented, “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.”
“While hotel business centres remain important,” McGuinness continued, “the study affirms that the Four Points brand is meeting a continued need by offering complimentary WiFi or in-room Internet access, and by continuing to expand bandwidth throughout the portfolio. We know what our business travellers want and we don’t nickel and dime them – we just deliver it.”
How business travellers connect
The majority (55%) of respondents bring three or four devices with them on the road. This is true across all nationalities. Brazilian respondents were more likely than others to juggle five or more devices while traveling (27%), while Germans were the least device-dependent, with 33% reporting they travel with only one or two.
As for which three or four devices are respondents likely to bring? Smartphones are tops (74%), followed by tablets (65%), music players (43%) and laptops (32%).
Business travellers semm to be glued to their smartphones. After landing, the majority (54%) turn on their smartphone while the plane is still taxiing on the tarmac, while 12% never turn it off in the first place. The remaining respondents wait until they’re in the terminal or settle into their taxi/car (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. Checking Facebook (12%) ranks fourth, while calling home has a distant fifth (7%).
Nearly seven in 10 respondents (68%) use their tablet more often than their laptop, and accordingly a similar number (69%), if told they could take only one of the two on the road, would choose to travel with their tablet. In Europe, UK (67%) and German (70%) respondents prefer their tablets to a laptop.
Why business travellers connect
For most respondents, the primary purpose of travelling with mobile devices is to keep up with email on the road (90%). This is followed by internet browsing and social networking (75%), and maintaining communication with the office (73%). However, the majority of respondents from the UK (89%) use their mobile devices for web browsing and social networking. Least popular: reading a book (43%).
Overall, respondents are likely to subscribe to 4-7 RSS news feeds (46%), although respondents from India are more likely to subscribe to only 1-3 (55%). Reuters is by far the most popular news feed at 21%, followed by the BBC (15%) and The New York Times (7%).
More than 60% of total respondents believe that travelling with technology makes their lives significantly easier and more convenient. This is even higher in the UK (73%). However, the majority of German respondents report their lives are only somewhat eased by technology (53%), and 14% of Germans believe it makes life harder.
Business travellers’ communicating style
Most respondents report they use emoticons (72%) and shorthand (77%) in their daily texts and emails. They do consider shorthand inappropriate when applying for a job (84%), sending condolences (67%) or emailing their boss (66%), but less so when emailing their mother-in-law (38%). In the UK, emoticons and shorthand are favoured.
For friends and family, nothing beats face time. To communicate with family, friends and loved ones back home, the majority of business travellers prefer to video chat/conference (67%) versus sending an email or picking up the phone (47% each). Instant messaging or texting is the least popular means (37%). Almost eight in 10 get dressed, do their hair and make-up before a video chat/conference. In Europe, German travellers are the most inclined to primp before a video chat (83%) while UK travellers are less likely to do so (78%).