Choice Hotels survey shows location trumps all for business travel

A new survey, commissioned by Choice Hotels International, investigated the preferences and practices of business travelers.

Among the 529 travelers polled, 73 percent said hotel location mattered most when picking where they stay on the road, while 61 percent said the quality of the room was most critical.

Though free Wi-Fi came in third with 55 percent, complimentary Internet access remains "an important amenity for the business traveler ... More and more people are using multiple devices when they travel, and I think the expectation is, whether they're in a hotel room or on an airline, you can access free Wi-Fi most anywhere you go," said Robert McDowell, Choice Hotels' SVP of global distribution.

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Additionally, 84 percent said they preferred to stay in their room to work, compared with 10 percent who would rather work in a hotel's business center and 4 percent who prefer working in the lobby or other common area.

"More hotel brands are looking at improving their common areas,'' McDowell said. Yet, "most of these travelers are doing more of their work in their rooms, and the common area is likely more for social interactions with other guests.''

Newer technology appears to be more popular than older devices. Among those polled, 76 percent book rooms online, and 60 percent have checked in to a hotel with a smartphone or tablet.

Meanwhile, 51 percent use the microwave in their room to heat up snacks, and 53 percent take advantage of their room's refrigerator.

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