Flying visits mean business, poll finds

11 Apr 2014

More than a million business travellers have endured a 20-hour-plus trip to spend less than 12 hours in their destination, according to a new poll.

The US topped the list of flying visits, with 13 per cent of those interviewed saying they had spent 12 hours or less there on business. Hong Kong followed with 9 per cent and China 6 per cent.

Research was carried out for travel technology firm Travelport by Opinium Research, which polled 1,006 UK business travellers who fly at least twice a year.

The study also found almost 135,000 business travellers visited Australia and spent less than 12 hours there.

Almost one-third of those polled travelled to attend an important meeting and 16 per cent travelled to sign a business deal in person. The survey also indicated that over 270,000 made a 20 hour plus round trip just to employ someone.

Travelport said this "new trend" reveals the significance businesses now put on face-to-face meetings. Almost a third of those polled travelled long-distance to attend an important meeting and 16 per cent travelled to sign a business deal in person.

The poll noted geographical variations among UK travellers. Just over a quarter of business travellers from Yorkshire and Humberside went long distances to sign a business deal as opposed to just 12 per cent in the south-east, and only 10 per cent in the West Midlands.

Gender differences were also apparent. Business men and women take the same amount of business trips during a year, but women were more likely to meet an important contact or seal a deal in an unusual location than men. One example was while duty free shopping at the airport (8 per cent of women versus 5 per cent of men).

Gary Noakes

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