Global research of 10,000 travellers from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) reveals staying in touch with home is top priority
London, UK, 15th July 2013 There really is no place like home, unless it’s a hotel which offers free internet connection according to new research from IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) which has found that being able to connect online with family and friends is now the top priority for travellers.
The global research was commissioned to mark the launch this month of IHG’s renamed loyalty programme, IHG® Rewards Club. It reveals that not being able to contact home due to lack of internet connection is now the biggest travel headache for people away on business, cited by 40% of travellers as their biggest stress factor, ahead of difficult transport links (26%) and noisy location (24%).
The research covered 10,000 people who travel for business worldwide. It is helping IHG to understand hotel guests’ priorities when travelling, as it becomes the first and only hotel group to offer free internet access globally to all its loyalty members. This new benefit started with Elite members at the beginning of July and will roll out to all members from 2014, whether they are staying the night at a hotel or coming in for a coffee or impromptu meeting.
Other findings underline the importance of internet access:
61% of those surveyed said that internet was the most important additional facility in their hotel room above TV (17%); bath (5%); fridge (3%) and mini bar (1%).
Logging onto the internet in their room when they first arrive topped the list of things that help travellers feel most at home in their hotel room (31%), above exploring the room (25%), taking a hot shower (14%) or even unpacking (13%).
Nearly two thirds (64%) of travellers say that they would prefer to communicate with people back home over the internet rather than using the phone.
Over half of parents (53%) surveyed cited connecting with family at home as the best way to de-stress at the end of a working day.
89% said that free internet would make them happier whilst travelling away for business.
And, nearly two thirds of respondents, (65%), would be very unhappy travelling if they had no way of connecting with loved ones back home.
Relationship expert, Jenni Trent Hughes explains:
"Just hearing a voice on a telephone is no longer sufficient for the 21st century traveller, we need the comfort of being able to see loved ones too. We want to see our children’s smiles when we’re reading them their bedtime story over Skype; be able to look our partner in the eye when we tell them how much we miss them, as well as keep up with all our social media obligations and emails.
We now believe that when staying away from home, being connected with a minimum fuss and maximum ease is crucial for keeping our various relationships ticking over. When these expectations aren't met, we feel anxious and frustrated so it’s no wonder that nowadays many of us can't relax until we are safely checked-in and logged-on.”
Richard Solomons, Chief Executive, IHG, said:
“We understand how important it is for our guests to be able to stay in touch whilst travelling. That’s why, alongside great existing benefits such as points that never expire, we have introduced free internet for our members as part of IHG Rewards Club. These leading benefits are why IHG Rewards Club has been chosen by more travellers than any other hotel loyalty programme worldwide.
IHG’s family of brands across 4,600 hotels ranges from an award-winning InterContinental resort to a city-centre Holiday Inn hotel. Our scale and diversity means that our hotels can meet our guests’ needs whatever the occasion – whether an overnight getaway, a business trip, a family celebration or a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
IHG Rewards Club, formerly Priority Club® Rewards, is the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with industry-leading benefits including no blackout dates for Reward Nights, fast track to Gold Elite status when guests explore IHG’s family of nine trusted brands and points that never expire.
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Notes to Editors:
IHG ‘Rewarding Relationships’ survey carried out by OnePoll
All figures unless otherwise stated are from OnePoll.
10,000 adults were surveyed worldwide in Australia (1,000), Canada (1,000), China (1,000), France (1,000), Germany (1,000), Indonesia (300), Malaysia (400), Mexico (1,000), Russia (1,000), Singapore (300), UK (1,000) and US (1,000).
Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st May and 14th June 2013.
The survey was carried out online.
The figures for each country have been weighted and are representative of adults who travel for business (aged 18+) in each country.
Full survey results are available on request.
The number one stress factor for travellers is not being able to contact home due to lack of internet connection. Other options given were: not being able to connect home due to lack of internet connection; rude staff; noisy guests or location; difficult transport links, limited food selection, none of the above. This was worked out by asking all 12 markets a combination of 'what is their main stress when travelling' and 'what number of things causes them stress'. The two variations were reviewed and compared, then weighted taking into account all answers in order to give a global figure of what causes the most stress when travelling for business.
New member benefits include:
Free internet to all Elite members from July 2013 and extending to all members during 2014
The ability to earn Gold Elite status faster by staying for just 10 nights in three different IHG hotel brands
Reward Nights will count toward earning Elite status
Platinum Elite members’ “extra” nights will roll over toward maintaining their status in their next membership year
Existing industry-leading benefits include:
Points that never expire
No blackout dates for Reward Nights, so members can stay any time
Faster rewards by using a combination of Points & Cash
Redeem points for flights on over 400 airlines with Flights AnywhereTM; for hotel stays virtually anywhere with Hotels Anywhere; or search, book and purchase car rentals with well-known local and global providers at airports worldwide with Cars Anywhere
Exclusive member-only, in-hotel perks
The IHG Rewards Club personal concierge can help guests find one-of-a-kind items, tickets to a sporting event or even favourite gadgets
Plus, earn points for everyday spending with our partners and while shopping and dining
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts.
IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 73 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,600 hotels and more than 674,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihg.com/ihgrewardsclub for more on IHG® Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.