Intercontinental Hotels Group has announced that all its loyalty programme members will have access to free internet by 2014.
The scheme is to be opened up to IHG’s Elite members from July 2013 in all of the group’s hotels including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Intercontinental, later expanding to all 71 million loyalty members in 2014.
The hotel chain’s move follows a survey carried out by YouGov which suggested 43% of adults would refrain from staying in a hotel if it charged them to go online.
The survey suggested that customers found free internet to be even more important than room service.
Membership of the IHG Rewards Club is free, and internet access will be provided whether customers are staying the night or just having a meeting.
Chief executive Richard Solomons said of the venture: “In today’s fast-paced world, we know that travellers need to stay connected and free internet access is increasingly important. I am proud that IHG is the first hotel company to offer free internet globally to all our loyalty programme members.”