Tips on business etiquette in international travel | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Tips on business etiquette in international travel

This will sound cliched, but it is true that the world is a smaller place now. It is not unusual to come across businesses that are exporting their product/s to several countries across the globe, or businesses interested in doing so.

Increasing globalisation also brings with it an increase in international business travel for entrepreneurs. SupportBiz presents some important tips on the right business etiquette when they embark on their international tours.


Before you travel to a foreign country, it is a good idea to research the business etiquette and culture prevalent there. You could get this information from relevant books or from the internet. You could also talk to friends, relatives or colleagues who have already visited the country, to get a fair idea about its culture.

Corporate training

Some firms brief their employees before they embark on a foreign tour, as to what to expect and how to adapt to the local culture in the new place. Ensure that you avail of such a facility, if it is available in your workplace. If such training is not offered at your workplace, you could consider discussing with your HR manager to arrange for it.

Fit in

Certain gestures or behaviours are taken for acceptable in some countries, but might be offensive in some other countries. Ensure that you fit in with the crowd in the country that you are visiting, and do not undertake any behaviour that might be considered offensive.

Be formal and polite

In case you are not sure how to behave in a business setting internationally, it is safer to be poite and formal. Such behaviour will help you survive seemingly difficult situations, and save you from getting into unncessary trouble. Try not to get too loud or personal with strangers in a public place, and tone down your behaviour.

Learn some phrases

It would do you good to learn a few key phrases in the language of the country you are going to visit. This will help you ease in with the locals comparitively faster, and might also save you in difficult situations.

Do not judge

Try not to judge the behaviour of the locals in the country that you are visiting, or act in a superior manner.

Observe others

It is a good idea to observe the locals around you if you do not know the correct way to behave in a foreign social setting. Taking your cue from the locals will help you avoid embarrassing situations.

Learn to greet

Learn the acceptable way of greeting in the country that you are going to visit. This will help you set the right tone for your business meetings right from the start, and blend in with the locals.