Over half (56%) of the holidaymakers surveyed say they've either occasionally or frequently had to work whilst on holidays.

30% have cancelled or postponed a break for work

19% don't let work come between them and family time on holiday

30% can’t remember a holiday that was uninterrupted by work

Johannesburg - Many of us are spending our holidays working instead of relaxing with our families, a regional survey by Holiday Inn® has found.

Only one 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 percent) of the holidaymakers surveyed say they’ve either occasionally or frequently had to work whilst on holidays, and more than 55 percent 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 percent) than women (42 percent) frequently work on holidays;

* More male than female respondents (56 percent and 43 percent respectively) said they have had to cancel or postpone holidays because something urgent at work has come up;

* Of the 56 percent who have had to cancel or postpone a holiday due to work, child-free respondents were worst affected (53 percent);

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

Regional comparisons showed travellers from Japan, Southeast Asia and India parents were best at only checking-in with work once their little ones were snoozing, while those from the Middle East scored the lowest, unsurprising given almost half (47 percent) 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 at InterContinental Hotels Group 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.

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 one in 10 say their parents always work on holidays, which is food for thought given almost a quarter (23 percent) 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!

Adapted from a press release for IOL

* Figures as at 30th June 2016