U.S. Business Travelers Miss Their Connection

                U.S. Business Travelers Miss Their Connection

Research of 1,000 U.S. business travelers from InterContinental Hotels Group
(IHG) reveals staying in touch with home is top priority

-- Lack of Internet access biggest stress for travelers

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

PR Newswire

ATLANTA, July 16, 2013

ATLANTA, July16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --There really is no place like home,
unless it is a hotel that 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
U.S. business travelers.

The research polled 1,000 business travelers nationwide and was commissioned
to mark this month's launch of IHG's renamed loyalty program, 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 48 percent of travelers in the U.S. as their biggest stress factor,
ahead of noisy location (41 percent) and difficult transportation links (38
percent).

IHG set out to better understand hotel guests' priorities while traveling and
is now the first and only hotel group to offer free Internet access globally
to all its loyalty program members. This new benefit started with Elite
members at the beginning of July and will roll out to all members starting in
2014, whether they are staying the night at one of IHG's nine hotel brands, or
coming in for a coffee or impromptu meeting.

Other top-line findings in the U.S. underline the importance of Internet
access:

  o62 percent of those surveyed said that Internet was the most important
    additional facility in their hotel room above a TV (20 percent);
    mini-fridge (5 percent), landline phone (4 percent), bath tub (3 percent)
    and mini bar (1 percent).
  oLogging onto the Internet in their room when they first arrive topped the
    list of things that help travelers feel most at home, while staying at a
    hotel (25 percent), above unpacking (20 percent), taking a shower (10
    percent) or turning on the TV (6 percent)
  oMore than half (55 percent) of travelers say that they would prefer to
    communicate with people back home over the Internet rather than using the
    phone.
  oAlmost half of business travelers (47 percent) surveyed cited connecting
    with family at home as the best way to de-stress at the end of a working
    day.
  o83 percent said that free Internet would make them happier whilst
    travelling away for business.
  oAnd, more than two thirds of respondents, (69 percent), would be very
    unhappy traveling if they had no way of connecting with loved ones back
    home.

Relationship expert and Dating Doctor, David Coleman explains:

"Long distance relationships are difficult to successfully maintain. When we
are separated from people we love or care for, we begin to physically miss
their presence – their warmth, smile, touch, or facial expressions. Just
hearing a voice on the phone is no longer sufficient for the modern business
traveler, we need the comfort of being able to connect and see our loved ones.
We need to be able to send an e-mail to our significant other to say we are
thinking of them; be able to share a laugh with our children before they run
off to school, and be able to stay connected to our friends back home. Being
able to seamlessly and regularly connect with our loved ones is crucial, now
more than ever, in maintaining strong remote relationships."

Richard Solomons, Chief Executive, IHG, said:

"We understand how important it is for our guests to be able to stay in touch
whilst traveling. 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 travelers than any other hotel loyalty program 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 program 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

  oAll figures unless otherwise stated are from OnePoll.
  o10,000 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).
  oFieldwork was undertaken between 21^st May and 14^th June 2013.
  oThe survey was carried out online.
  oThe figures for each country have been weighted and are representative of
    adults who travel for business (aged 18+) in each country.
  oFull survey results are available on request.
  oThe number one stress factor for travelers 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.

New member benefits include:

  oFree Internet to all Elite members from July 2013 and extending to all
    members during 2014
  oThe ability to earn Gold Elite status faster by staying for just 10 nights
    in three different IHG hotel brands
  oReward Nights will count towardearning Elite status
  oPlatinum Elite members' "extra" nights will roll over toward maintaining
    their status in their next membership year

Existing industry-leading benefits include:

  oPoints that never expire
  oNo blackout dates for Reward Nights, so members can stay any time
  oFaster rewards by using a combination of Points & Cash
  oRedeem 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
  oExclusive member-only, in-hotel perks
  oThe IHG Rewards Club personal concierge can help guests find one-of-a-kind
    items, tickets to a sporting event or even favorite gadgets
  oPlus, 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
organization 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
program with over 73 million members worldwide. The program 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.



SOURCE InterContinental Hotels Group

Website: http://www.ihg.com
Contact: Monica Smith: +1 770 604 5562 / monica.smith@ihg.com, or Farah Kurji:
+1 212 885 0461 / farah.kurji@hkstrategies.com
 
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