LONDON — InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which operates nine hotel brands across nearly 100 countries, has renamed its loyalty program and is introducing free Internet to its IHG Rewards Club Elite members, aligning with a study that has revealed the top priority for business travellers is connecting online with loved ones.

“We understand how important it is for our guests to stay in touch whilst travelling,” said Richard Solomons, chief executive, IHG. “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.”

The IHG-commissioned study of 10,000 business travellers found that the biggest stress factor for 40 per cent of respondents is a failure to connect with family and friends due to Internet connection problems. What’s more, 61 per cent of those surveyed said Internet was the most important “additional facility” in their hotel room above a TV (17 per cent), bath (five per cent), fridge (three per cent) and minibar (one per cent).

So, now IHG’s new member benefits include free Internet for Elite members this year and free Internet for all members in 2014. IHG Rewards Club members can also earn Gold Elite status faster by staying 10 nights in three different IHG hotel brands, among other reward member changes.


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