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As you’ll no doubt be aware, John and I regularly chat to the sales staff who man stands at the many international exhibitions staged for this industry and most admit that the different cities – however exciting they might be to the rest of us – seem to blur into one another. They confess that the thought of a day’s sightseeing, when they are permanently tired, isn’t one they relish. Other industry colleagues who have to travel a lot for work agree that while it may seem glamorous to anyone on the outside, the reality of ‘living out of a suitcase’ is actually quite different.
A press release that arrived recently, which revealed that business travellers have a tendency to add extra ‘personal’ days onto their trips so they can combine business with pleasure without the extra costs, and that many will attempt to stay in a better hotel than they would for personal trips, didn’t surprise me as much as the authors perhaps thought it would in terms of the concept, although it did in terms of ‘where on earth do they find the energy to enjoy a day or two’s holiday after a week at a show?’
And while the report doesn’t mention first class train travel, I can’t help feeling that few of us – with the extortionate costs involved – will pay for an upgrade out of our own pockets so we can avail ourselves of the added luxury of first class travel on our nation’s railways.
I hope managers won’t start cracking down on what many may see as a valid return for nights spent away from home. Speaking as someone who knows how tiring business travel can be, I’d venture that it’s a fully justified and earned add-on. And if it’s not cost the company any extra money, what’s the harm in it?
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25th June 2015