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“Blurring,” A Growing Trend Amongst International Travelers According To Pullman Travel Survey

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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Pullman, Accor's upscale hotel brand, and research institute IPSOS have unveiled the results of a survey of over 2,200 seasoned international travelers* and the results are clear: "Blurring" is on the rise.
A global trend acknowledged in countries where the survey was conducted, "blurring" is the intermingling of private and professional lives due in part to the increased use of mobile professional devices, such as PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. The new behavior transforms the organization of private and work lives as high-income frequent travelers are connected and can be reached at all times. Consider it the advent of a new work ethic - and a widespread one, at that.

Key findings of the survey reveal:

  • "Blurring" increases freedom and efficiency: 82% of the survey panel believe a mobile professional device allows them to work more freely.
  • "Blurring" is perceived differently from country to country: 83% of Brazilian and 92% of Chinese travelers surveyed believe devices help career development, but only 56% of French and 53% of German travelers share this opinion.
  • While non-work activities are now carried out in the workplace thanks to a tacit moral agreement with the employer, the reverse can generate feelings of remorse: 73% of travelers surveyed handle private activities during working hours, and eight out of ten consider this normal. However, one in two sometimes feel guilty about not devoting time to loved ones when they work in private situations.
  • U.S. travelers are aware of the advantages of owning a professional device, with 92% respondents agreeing that they work and check emails during private situations (90% during vacations). They are also more aware of the negative impact it could have on personal life, giving the impression of never leaving work and a source of stress and pressure. To limit the negative impact on loved ones, Americans try more than the average to work secretly from devices.
  • When Americans work in private situations, it is primarily to show commitment to management. But 43% of U.S. respondents say it is because they are passionate about what they do, compared to the total survey average of 38%. U.S. travelers are the least optimistic about time spent working during private time decreasing in the future
Noted Xavier Louyot, SVP Global Marketing Pullman: "Our knowledge of seasoned international travelers has led us to observe various trends over the years. Our hotel offers have evolved to anticipate these changes and meet the expectations of this new generation of curious, cosmopolitan, hyper-connected travelers who pursue both business and leisure. The results of this survey confirm our vision of upscale international hospitality which is based on the "work-hard, play-hard" philosophy and reflects our customers' lifestyle."

The advent of a new work ethic
Among international travelers, 61% (compared to 66% of Americans) take at least one mobile professional device with them on vacation or weekend trips. One-third (33%) of the survey panel spends at least 30 minutes a day browsing the Internet for personal reasons (reading the news, booking vacations, consulting bank accounts, and checking Facebook) - with 68% of U.S. respondents making online purchases while at work.

Some believe "blurring" has a positive impact on their private life: 89% "agree" and 43% "agree wholeheartedly" that owning a mobile professional device enables them to stay in touch with their families.
Seasoned travelers welcome this new way of organizing their private and professional lives: 79% view it positively.

Very different attitudes in rapid growth and developed economies

American travelers are the most undecided on the integration of professional devices in their private lives: Though more than half believe that having mobile professional devices makes working easier, the same portion believe the devices have a negative impact on their private life.

The Chinese and Brazilians are "blurring" champions and the most connected travelers, with 79% and 71%, respectively, owning at least one mobile professional device (compared to 65% in the U.S. and 60% in other countries).

French and German travelers "blur" professional and private lives the least. They also have the most negative opinion regarding mobile professional devices and are the least likely to handle private activities during working hours.

Australians and British are similarly reluctant, though less assertively so, to allow private and professional lives to overlap.

Pullman - IPSOS survey: key figures
  • 89% of seasoned international travelers say mobile professional devices are a means of staying in touch with their loved ones.
  • 60% of the Chinese and 45% of the Brazilians in the survey panel browse online dating sites using their professional devices. Less than 10% of the Europeans (Germans, British and French) do so and the survey sample global average is 23%.
  • 29% of the survey panel shops online, like the Americans.
  • 18% of responders read or send work emails in private situations, hiding the fact that they do so from their loved ones... and 18% even do so during private lunches or dinners.
  • 69% of the survey sample organizes holidays and weekend outings online during working hours (85% of the Chinese).
43% of the survey sample acknowledges that they work before going to their workplace.


This online survey is based on a sample of 2,252 travelers who stay at mid and upscale hotels and are aged between 25 and 65. It was carried out in seven countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Australia, and China. About two-thirds of responders were taken from an Ipsos access panel and one-third from Pullman's customer data base. The survey was conducted between June 27 and August 6, 2013.

If you would like to use the survey figures, please specify that they are from a "Pullman - IPSOS Survey"

Pullman is the upscale international hotel brand of Accor, the world's leading hotel operator, present in 92 countries with over 3,500 hotels and 160,000 employees. Located in the main regional and international cities and in prime tourist destinations, Pullman Hotels & Resorts is principally designed to cater for the requirements of cosmopolitan, seasoned travelers, whether they are travelling alone, with their clans or with colleagues. The brand's establishments offer a new approach to upscale hospitality. The Pullman network has more than 80 hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America where ideas, histories and cultures meet. Our objective is to have 150 hotels around the world by 2015-2020. Pullman, like most of Accor's brands, is proud to offer the Le Club Accorhotels loyalty program. Further information concerning the Pullman hotels is available on www.pullmanhotels.com.

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