Travellers Miss Their Connection

                       Travellers Miss Their Connection

  PR Newswire

  LONDON, July 15, 2013

LONDON, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

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
    room
  *Communicating with family the top way to de-stress when away from home

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.

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[ http://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 21 ^st May and 14 ^th 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 towardearning 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 Anywhere ^[
    ^TM ^] ; 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

About IHG

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 http://www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and
http://www.ihg.com/ihgrewardsclub for more on IHG® Rewards Club. For our
latest news, visit: http://www.ihg.com/media , http://www.twitter.com/ihg ,
http://www.facebook.com/ihg or http://www.youtube.com/ihgplc .

Contact: For more information, please contact: Jovana Lakcevic:
+44(0)1895-512-864 / jovana.lakcevic@ihg.com
 
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