'Outbound journey is for work, return trip for relaxation’

On the way to an international destination, most business travellers choose to check their email and prepare for the appointment. On the way back, travellers spend more time relaxing. Travelling by train (44%) is the most popular mode of transport for work because of, among other things, Internet access. Of the international business train travellers, one in three feel guilty if they are not working during the trip. This is the conclusion of a study by MetrixLab among 200 international business travellers (car, plane, bus, and train) commissioned by NS. 

Of all respondents, 71% see an international business trip as working time and 25% as leisure time. During the outbound journey, the favourite pastime is working. The top 5 pastimes spent on the outward journey are:

  1. Checking business emails
  2. Preparing an appointment
  3. Reading
  4. Looking outside
  5. Listening to music

    The research shows that the most popular pastimes on the way back are more focused on relaxation; the top 5 is:

    1. Looking outside
    2. Sleeping
    3. Reading
    4. Evaluating the work appointment
    5. Listening to music

    Apparently, there is more need to clear one’s head and let go on the way back.

    International business travellers consider the train (44%) to be the most suitable means of transport to work when compared to the airplane, car or bus. This is due to the availability of Wi-Fi and 4G, the possibility to get off in the city centre, the opportunity to work (in silence) and no inconvenient long waiting times. Nearly three-quarters of travellers say they can spend their travel time in a useful (73%) and pleasant (71%) way on the train.

    Heike Luiten, director of NS International: "We recognize this from previous research. In 2018, we calculated the social impact of a one-way journey from Amsterdam to Paris by train, bus, plane, and car. Although everyone has personal preferences, travellers largely base their choice of transport on the total costs, travel time and how comfortable the journey is. This research showed that the train, compared to other means of transport, has the best social value, in particular, because of the positive value given to travel time. The travel time is seen as comfortable and useful. In aviation, for example, only part of the travel time can be usefully spent, and scores lower with regard to comfort.”

    NS aims to connect the Netherlands by train to the main cities that are within a radius of 700 kilometres. In this context, the connection between Amsterdam and London will be further expanded from two to three times a day as of this summer. Since 31 March 2019, train passengers from the Netherlands can travel directly to Disneyland Paris. For business travellers, ICE International to Frankfurt remains extremely popular.

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