Young business travellers prefer solo sightseeing, social workspaces and have better travel experience when they spend free time on their own

8 August, 2019

A new insight into the industry suggests that almost three in four (73%) of young professionals have a better travel experience when they spend free time on their own - from exploring the city to unwinding at the lobby bar. The findings are form a survey by Hilton Hotels & Resorts designed to uncover the travel highs and lows for young professionals, aged between 23 and 35, who attend meetings while on the road.

The survey, fielded by Edelman Intelligence between 04-Jun-2019 and 07-Jun-2019, was a 15-minute, online survey among a nationally-representative sample of over 1,200 US travellers, aged 23-35, who stayed in a hotel (domestic or international) for business purpose in the past 12 months. It revealed that, while, as you would probably expect, young business travellers prefer a buzzing social environment and in-person interactions during regular work hours, they would actually rather spend their evenings on their own.

Hilton had previously conducted research that showed. business travel is a major work perk among this group. This year's investigation focused on what truly influences and shapes young professionals' experience on the road, including their preferences in dining, workspaces and how they blend personal interests with professional requirements.

The research identified that more than four in five (84%) of young business travellers say that they cherish their alone time during business trips, and nearly three quarters (73%) report that they have a better experience when they spend downtime on their own.

When questioned how they prefer to spend their free time, eating at local restaurants (69%), exploring the city and/or neighbourhood (59%) and sleeping or relaxing (56%) were highlighted by more than half of respondents within the group. Around one in three also highlighted attending a Happy Hour (38%), working out (35%) or unwinding at the hotel bar (32%).

"We've all had over-scheduled business trips - with meetings from 9am to 5pm and social obligations the rest of the evening - and the result is pure exhaustion. We applaud this next generation of travellers for highlighting a tension point many of us have dealt with for years," says Vera Manoukian, senior vice president and global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

These findings will help accommodation providers to better offer amenities and services to help meet the needs of this target market, including incorporating improved in-room technology, alternative menu options etc.

In looking at preferred work styles while traveling for business, the findings of this year's survey were consistent with the results from last year with 81% of respondents believing that they can get more done in-person.

The findings also underscore how their workspace - whether that's a formal meeting room or multi-functional common space - plays a key role in spurring creativity, encouraging collaboration and ultimately contributing to positive outcomes.

The results shows that almost two thirds of respondents (63%) were more inspired in a busy, social environment when they are working alone/independently; more than nine in ten (92%) prefer natural light/windows in a meeting space; four in five (80%) prefer a colourful meeting space with elements inspired by their surroundings; and a similar number (82%) prefer a meeting space with advanced, intuitive technology beyond Wi-Fi.

This summer, Hilton says it is already implementing a series of design concepts and technology packages at select hotels across its global portfolio reflecting these emerging trends and preferences. Meeting spaces will be designed to a destination inspired brief and include dynamic and social work areas. Technology will also be upgraded to maximise collaboration and enhance efficiency for users.

These enhanced offerings are currently available at select hotels, including Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, Hilton McLean Tyson's Corner, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Hilton Mexico City Reforma.