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Internet connectivity top priority for travellers

July 17, 2013 • Online

There really is no place like home, unless it is a hotel which offers free internet connection. According to new research from IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) it was found that being able to connect online with family and friends is now the top priority for travellers.

Being able to connect online with family and friends is now the top priority for travellers (image: Shutterstock)

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.”

*Image via Shutterstock

Staff writer

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