Global research of 10,000 travellers from InterContinental Hotels Group
(IHG) reveals staying in touch with home is top priority
Lack of internet connection biggest stress for travellers
Logging on to the internet helps people feel most at home in their hotel
Communicating with family the top way to de-stress when away from home
TORONTO, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ - There really is no place like home,
unless it's a hotel which offers free internet connection according to
new research from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 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 per cent of travellers as their biggest stress
factor, ahead of difficult transport links (26 per cent) and noisy
location (24 per cent).
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 per cent of those surveyed said that internet was the most important
additional facility in their hotel room above TV (17 per cent); bath (5
per cent); fridge (3 per cent) and mini bar (1 per cent).
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 per cent), above exploring the room (25 per cent),
taking a hot shower (14 per cent) or even unpacking (13 per cent).
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) 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 per cent) 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 per cent), would be very
unhappy travelling if they had no way of connecting with loved ones
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.
Visitors and guests can sign up for IHG Rewards Club and all its benefits, on the spot, free of charge at any IHG hotel and can find out more about the changes at www.ihg.com/IHGRewardsClub.
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
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.
For further information:
Cassie Prosper: 416-413-4618 / firstname.lastname@example.org