New book pushes for the pursuit of leisure as air travel returns to the fold

Oliver Dowson, Author of There’s No Business Like International Business

In the pre-covid world, business travel was for most just another chore. But with the world open for business once again and putting all thoughts of yet another Zoom call away forever, Oliver Dowson advocates making every business trip count. Not just by the success of your meetings but using downtime judiciously – forget rocking up at the airport early and jumping on the laptop, instead he urges travelers to get out into the real world, and get exploring.

Having championed this philosophy for the last 25 years, the author, who travels over 200,000 miles a year, delivers a top read, bursting with anecdotes from around the globe. 

Appreciating that the good things in life are about quality not quantity, he gets that business trips don’t often include free days to become a fully engaged tourist, but in just a few hours, you can soak up the culture, city sounds and the cuisine of wherever you happen to be.

Providing a call for action to those for whom business trips are integral and offering stunning snapshots of adventure for many an armchair traveler, There’s No Business Like International Business, is all about embracing the here and now; and how enriching the experience is.

What is the synopsis of the book?

On a business trip around half the countries in South America in a fortnight, Oliver Dowson faces near-death experiences in planes and cars, meets civil insurrection, risks kidnap and must overcome mindless bureaucracy that could derail the itinerary on a daily basis.

Follow along as he travels around the Far East for three weeks in the company of an obstreperous, can’t-do-without but can’t-do-with female colleague, learning new cultures fast. All in the pursuit of business goals that somehow still seem to be met along the way.

These trips may have had a business purpose, but this is no business book; rather, it’s a delightful, off-beat travelogue with an off-beat much travelled narrator. There are plenty of vivid characters to meet, anecdotal fun, plus an education on local cultures to be gained.

What are the thoughts of the author?

“It’s no doubt true that climate campaigners and those most concerned about the pandemic would be relieved if business travel died a quick death. But that would be a mistake – not only for the myriad of businesses that depend on it, like car rental companies and hotels, but more importantly business owners and employees who benefit greatly from the chance to get out into the world and meet the offbeat characters who inhabit it,” commented Dowson.

“There is no replacement for actually going somewhere and discussing matters in person. My book is just the perfect example of why – readers will be amazed at some of the folks I met on my journeys – and they will certainly never be bored!” Dowson further went on.

What are the thoughts of those that know the author?

“Oliver is probably the most travelled person I know, so he is the ideal person to listen to about business travel. He truly is a ‘global operator’,” commented Doug Jackson.

“Oliver Dowson should change his name to Oliver International. He is THE Mr. international from his just-in-time travel schedule to recounting and reliving his journeys. You get an excellent imagery of the scenery and the taste and smell of the local food.” said John Holding.

What are the reviews on the book?

“I picked up the book expecting to be a list of stories about travelling for work. Akin to the George Clooney movie “up in the air.” However, this was very different,” said J4vv4D

“It’s an amazingly entertaining read. You’re left wondering how the author didn’t die several times either through an airplane whose propellor broke mid-flight, avoiding a violent demonstration, food poisoning, or an insane work colleague. But my takeaway is that this isn’t a book about business travel. It’s a book about enjoying life and living it to the fullest.” 

“It’s all too easy for people to complain about travel, the hassles or airports, inconveniences of being in a foreign land… but the author has a completely different perspective and relishes all these challenges and as a result has lived a far richer life… I hope I can too!”

“Exceptionally well crafted, each page of the book illuminated with entertainment, wit, and candour, to categorise it as simply a travelogue seems to do it a great injustice. Here, we have something of true merit,” writes Thomas J Kenny.

Brandon Diehl agrees, writing: “Oliver Dowson has created something I never thought possible: a nonfiction book about business trips that is actually fun and engaging to read.”

Published by Matador, There’s No Business Like International Business: Business Travel – But Not As You Know It is available in paperback (£13.99) and Kindle (£4.79) on Amazon.