IHG first in the industry to commit to free internet for all loyalty members worldwide

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has announced it will be providing free internet to all of its 71 million loyalty program members worldwide.

The announcement comes as IHG reveals the results of a global online survey* which show 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 program 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 hotel 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 in 2014.

The move comes as IHG announces that it will be enhancing and renaming its industry-leading loyalty program Priority Club® Rewards as IHG Rewards Club in July, introducing a range of new benefits for members.

“In today’s fast-paced world, we know travellers need to stay connected, and free internet access is increasingly important. I am proud IHG is the first hotel company to offer free internet globally to all our loyalty program members,” IHG’s chief executive, Richard Solomons said.

“2013 marks 10 years since IHG became a standalone company. Whilst we are relatively young as a business, our brands, such as Holiday Inn and InterContinental, have a deep history and powerful heritage, and are instantly recognised by millions around the world.

“Renaming our industry-leading loyalty program as IHG Rewards Club will help our guests understand that all our brands are part of the same IHG brand family.

“Whether it is a business stop-over or a family holiday, our guests can choose from more than 4600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories, secure in the knowledge that each carries the IHG badge of responsibility, trust and confidence that they can rely on.”

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 they would choose not stay in a hotel that charged for internet.

  • 23% of respondents online said 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.

  • Among the countries surveyed, online connectivity throughout the hotel holds the highest significance for the Chinese when making hotel bookings for business (47%) or for leisure (13%), and 70% agreed they would choose not to stay in a hotel if it didn’t offer free internet

  • Travellers from China placed the most importance on online connectivity – with nearly half (47%) listing it as the most important 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).

IHG Rewards Club, formerly Priority Club Rewards, is the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program, providing existing, industry-leading benefits including points that never expire, no blackout dates for Reward Nights, flight rewards, music downloads and free nights’ stay at any IHG hotel anywhere in the world.

From July 2013, new benefits will include:

  • free internet to all Elite status members from July 2013, 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.

Booking directly with IHG provides guests with access to the best available rates through the Group’s ‘Best Price Guarantee’ and ensures they qualify to earn points for their IHG Rewards Club account.

Visitors and guests can sign up free-of-charge for IHG Rewards Club and all its benefits on the spot at any IHG hotel.

Source = IHG
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