IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) today announced that it will be providing free internet to all its 71m loyalty programme members, worldwide.
The announcement comes as IHG reveals the results of a global online survey* which show that nearly half of adults (43%) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.
IHG is the first and only hotel group to offer free internet in all hotels to all loyalty programme members, globally - whether they stay the night or come in for a coffee or an impromptu meeting. It will benefit millions of guests globally as IHG has the most rooms and is in more countries than any one of the other four largest hotel companies in the world**. This will start from July 2013 for Elite members and extend to all members during 2014.
The move comes as IHG announces that it will be enhancing and renaming its industry-leading loyalty programme Priority Club® Rewards as IHG Rewards Club in July and introducing a range of new benefits for members.
Internet access is increasingly important to hotel guests and a key consideration when planning their hotel stays. New research* commissioned by IHG reveals that:
• 43% of adults surveyed said that they would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.
• 23% of respondents said that free internet in rooms and throughout the hotel is the most important amenity when staying in a hotel for business, compared to 7% who chose room service.
• Travellers from China placed the most importance on online connectivity – with nearly half (47%) listing it as the most important thing to them when staying in a hotel for business, followed by those from Russia (26%), the US (23%) and India (22%).
• Travellers from the UK (18%) and the US (14%) both listed paying for internet as the second most annoying thing when staying at a hotel after noisy guests (22% and 24% respectively).
• Globally, more female respondents (14%) say free internet throughout the hotel is most important to them when staying for leisure, compared to 2% who listed having an in-room hairdryer..
From July, new benefits will include:
• free internet to all Elite status members from July 2013 and extending to all members during 2014;
• the ability to earn Elite status faster by staying in three or more of IHG’s hotel brands;
• Reward Nights will count toward earning Elite status; and
• Platinum Elite members’ “extra” nights will roll over toward maintaining their status in their next membership year
*IHG Internet in Hotels Survey carried out by YouGov Plc in March.
• All figures unless otherwise stated are from YouGov Plc.
• 8,306 adults were surveyed in China (1,016), France (1,005), Germany (1,032), India (1,011), Russia (1,018), UK (2,070) and US (1,154).
• Fieldwork was undertaken between 1-8 March 2013.
• The survey was carried out online.
• The figures for each country have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) in each country.
• Full survey results are available on request.**Data obtained from Smith Travel Research January 2013 Hotel Census.