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Holiday Inn Survey Shows There’s Too Much Work and Not Enough Play on our Holiday New findings highlight impact of working during family breaks and why travellers should be doing more of what they love

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Over half of holiday-makers occasionally or frequently had to work whilst on holidaysOver half of this group have cancelled or postponed holidays because of workOnly 1 in 10 are able to completely ‘turn off’ from work whilst on holidays, can’t remember a holiday uninterrupted by work


Bangkok, Thailand: Many of us are spending our holidays working instead of relaxing with our families, a regional survey by Holiday Inn® has found. Only 1 in 10 are able to completely ‘turn off’ from work during a break and many can’t remember a holiday that hasn’t been interrupted by work.

The Holiday Inn ‘Do More of What You Love’ survey, gathered insights from travellers across the Asia, Middle East and Africa region to explore what guests love to do and see during vacations with friends and family. Key findings indicate that in today’s ‘always on, always connected’ world travellers find it challenging to truly disengage from work.

Over half (56%) of the holiday-makers surveyed say they’ve either occasionally or frequently had to work whilst on holidays, and more than 55% of this group have had to cancel or postpone holidays because of urgent last minute work commitments.

Whether participants are male or female, parents or child-free, the findings show that taking a break is not easy to achieve:

More men (57%) than women (42%) frequently work on holidays;More male than female respondents (56% and 43% respectively) said they have had to cancel or postpone holidays because something urgent at work has come up;Of those who have had to cancel or postpone a holiday due to work, child-free respondents were worst affected (63%);

Some travellers are finding ways to make work ‘work’ for us whilst on holidays with almost one in three (30%) saying they only check work emails and messages once their children are in bed, the survey finding women (61%) more disciplined than men (38%) at doing this.

Regional comparisons showed parents from Japan, Southeast Asia and India were best at only checking-in with work once their little ones were snoozing, while those from the Middle East scored amongst the lowest, unsurprising given almost half (47%) responded that they had to cancel or postpone family holidays due to work.

Lee Lin Teo, Head of Brand Management for the Holiday Inn Brand Family across Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said: “Despite the large numbers of travellers who admit work does often encroach on their holiday time, what we do find encouraging is that other group of travellers who find ways to switch off, relax, rejuvenate and enjoy their break.

“At Holiday Inn, we want to bring back this joy of travel, that wonderful feeling of doing more of what you love, with the ones you love the most – your family.”

Younger travellers around the region were also surveyed with many saying they’re seeing their Mums and Dads working on their precious breaks instead of spending quality time with them. In fact, over 1 in 10 say their parents always work on holidays, which is food for thought given almost a quarter (23%) of all kids surveyed say they feel sad when their parents work on holiday, saying they simply want to spend time or play together with their parents!

“Holiday Inn has always stood for fun, family-friendly holidays that take the stress out of breaks because we know there’s already too much of that in our guests’ every-day lives.

“We were the first hotel brand across the world to champion hassle-free holidays with ‘Kids Stay and Eat Free’, and for those times Mum and Dad really can’t avoid checking into work, our Kids Club and fun-friendly KidSuite® rooms keep younger guests happy and busy until it’s time to hit the beach again as a family,” Lee Lin finished.

Across Thailand, there are 7 Holiday Inn hotels and resorts open. Globally, there are almost 1,200 Holiday Inn hotels and resorts open, with a further 260 due to open in the next three to five years.