We can all agree that quick, reliable Internet access is a must-have during any hotel stay. But hotels are still struggling with implementing costly, high-speed services to meet the needs of today’s technology. And many brands are still charging a fee to connect—a practice that irks guests who expect to connect for free.
But InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is now offering free Internet access to all loyalty-program members around the world. That means that all 71 million members of the company’s Priority Club—which will be renamed IHG Rewards Club in July—will now enjoy complimentary access at every IHG location, even if they are just stopping the the hotel for a meeting or a meal.
“In today’s fast-paced world, we know that travellers need to stay connected and free internet access is increasingly important,” said Richard Solomons, CEO of IHG. “I am proud that IHG is the first hotel company to offer free internet globally to all our loyalty program members.”
The new policy came about after an online survey revealed that nearly half of adults (43 percent) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet. Additionally, 23 percent of respondents said that free internet in rooms and throughout the hotel is the most important amenity when staying in a hotel for business.
This new amenity will start in July for elite members and extend to all members during 2014. If more hotel companies follow in IHG’s footsteps, a perk like free Wi-Fi might give travelers more incentive to sign up for hotel loyalty programs.