IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) today announced that it will be providing free internet to all its 71m loyalty programme members, worldwide. This 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.
The free internet offer comes as IHG is 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. The free internet will be available at all of IHG’s 4100 hotels worldwide from July 2013 for Elite members and extend to all members during 2014. The offer applies to all loyalty programme members, globally – whether they stay the night or come in for a coffee or an impromptu meeting.
All this to celebrate 10 years of IHG as a standalone group and is combined with the rebranding of its Priority Club Rewards to IHG Club Rewards and the company feels the free internet offer will be a winner based on the results of a survey conducted by YouGov Pic in March. The findings include:
- 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.
I am one of those 43% who would choose not to stay in a hotel that charges extra for Internet especially for vacation travel. For business travel I will shop for a hotel that offers free internet and only reluctantly book a hotel that charges if faced with a choice because of location to a business event. So, you can bet I will be signing up for IHG Club Rewards the next time I stay at a IHG Hotel.