The InterContinental Hotels Group has pledged to offer free Internet access to all members of its Priority Club Rewards scheme, regardless of their status.
The deal will cover all properties under the IHG umbrella, including flagship InterContinental properties to the hip Hotel Indigo brand, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites.
Free Internet will kick off from July 2013 for Elite members "and extend to all members in 2014" IHG promises.
IHG's decision to set the Net free comes as the group reveals the results of a global online survey which show nearly half of adults (43%) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for Internet.
23% of respondents said free Internet in rooms and throughout the hotel is the most important amenity when staying in a hotel for business, well ahead of the 7% who chose room service.
Travellers from the UK (18%) and the US (14%) both listed paying for internet as the second most annoying thing when staying at a hotel, after noisy guests (22% and 24% respectively).
July 2013 will also see the group's loyalty program change its name from Priority Club Rewards to IHG Rewards Club.
IHG says the revamped scheme will also offer "the ability to earn Elite status faster by staying in three or more of IHG’s hotel brands" with reward nights now counting toward earning Elite status and "Platinum Elite members’ 'extra' nights will roll over toward maintaining their status in their next membership year."
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.