By Claire West

74% of small business owners want Internet access while on holiday, with the majority favouring Wi-Fi, and yet only 58% of UK hotels and B&Bs offer it. One in three business owners who went away this summer were dissatisfied with the Internet access provided. These are the findings of a recent survey by The Payroll Site, who help small business owners keep on top of their businesses when they can't be in the office.

The Payroll Site asked 93 owners of small UK businesses about their holiday preferences and found that 70% of them would prefer to stay somewhere with Wi-Fi access. Of the 6396 hotels and B&Bs listed in the 2010 AA guides, only 58% had Wi-Fi access. Surprisingly, many of these did not mention Internet access on their websites.

14% of business owners said they wanted plug-in Internet access and 23% said they would like access to an Internet PC. Some people specified more than one option.

It is often hard for small business owners to take a real holiday, with many working while they are away. Steven Tucker, MD of The Payroll Site said "Like many business owners, I want Internet access as a safety net. I leave someone else in charge and make sure they can contact me if necessary, and that I can respond to any situation that arises. Only then do I have the peace of mind to really relax and enjoy my holiday."

Business owners and their families account for a large number of holidaymakers. According to the 2008 figures from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, there were 4.8 million small businesses in the UK. Business owners tend to take holidays at times of the year when their business sector is quiet. 38% of those surveyed did not go away over the summer and 26% said they were planning to take a holiday in October.

The full survey results are available at www.thepayrollsite.co.uk/help/wifisurvey.htm