Business travel: Alone in a strange city?

What to do in the evenings is the solo business traveller's classic dilemma. Fortunately, there are now a range of social websites that make it easier than ever to network with like-minded executives, wherever your trip may take you. Alexander Garrett logs on ...

When you're on the road, the buzz about being somewhere new and different can be severely diminished by finding yourself alone in a foreign city, where there's lots going on but you've got no-one to enjoy it with. Indeed, sitting alone in a hotel restaurant with a half-bottle of wine while those around you engage in animated conversation can be one of the most soul-destroying experiences going.

No wonder many travellers resort to eating in their room, or simply retire there for a dessert of multilingual cable TV. What makes it all the more poignant is that, in the room next door, there may well be another soul just like you, away from home, with the same room-service tray, with whom you could be hitting the town or even talking business.

It's not surprising, then, that over the years quite a few people have come up with the idea of networking for business travellers - either as a social thing or a way to keep in touch with business contacts on the road. The advent of social networking websites has now turned this into an easily realisable concept. is one of the most popular sites operating today, with about 5,000 users around the world.

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