Business Travelers Relying on Social Networking Tools, Survey FindsBy Nathan Eddy | Print
Don’t tweet and drive! A survey on road warriors and business travelers finds they are increasingly using social networking applications such as Facebook or Twitter to improve the personal and business sides of the journey.
A survey conducted by KRC Research and commissioned by Omni Hotels and Resorts found road warriors feel today's mobile technology is essential to multi-tasking and life management while away from the home office. Business travelers ranked adjusting travel plans, making dinner reservations and checking into hotels as three of the top four "must-have" mobile applications. The online survey of 200 business travelers also found that access to these tools was an integral part of time management on the road.
Beyond taking care of travel matters, the survey also revealed that business travelers utilized mobile and social applications to take care of personal items, explore the local area and connect virtually with friends and family. Checking in with personal contacts, updating Facebook, looking for the nearest coffee spot and tweeting were also highly rated in the survey. In addition, 61 percent of all business travelers were burning the midnight oil online, not on business from the day, but rather managing their personal lives remotely.
Younger business travelers were even more focused on finding personal balance: Nearly one-third of younger business travelers, ages 25 to 34, were more likely to order perks that make their hotel stay more comfortable. More than 40 percent tweet about their travels and 65 percent enjoy updating Facebook to let everyone know where they are. Forty percent of survey respondents said they check Facebook or other social networking Web sites on hotel WiFi and 34 percent of travelers say they update their Facebook status to "let everyone know they are a road warrior."
Just over half – 55 percent - of the business travelers surveyed said they never tweet while on a business trip, and only 11 percent said they tweet often. Among those who said they would tweet during a hotel stay, positive experiences, such as free room upgrades (70 percent) and free Wi-Fi (62 percent) were more likely to result in a tweet than negative ones.
When asked what hotel WiFi is used for at night other than work, 61 percent of business travelers said they randomly surf the web, while others use the time to catch up with life outside of work. The survey also found 49 percent of business travelers pay bills online and 34 percent Skype or chat with their family at home. Nearly six in 10 business travelers said they would request a car service to the airport using a mobile app, while 48 percent said they would order anything that would allow them to multitask while on a business trip.