IHG to raise the bar for free Internet access by frequent-lodger-club members

Articles – From the horse’s mouth

IHG Hotels

Product site (IHG Rewards Club)

Press Release

My Comments

Just previously, I have covered the issue of paying for Internet access at the big-name hotels and mentioned that it is worth checking for accommodation packages and frequent-lodger programs that include Internet access as part of the package. As part of citing the “Business Sense” accommodation package that the Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto hotel were running, I learnt further from this hotel and the hotel chain’s PR agency about revisions that were underway for their Priority Club Rewards program.

Here, they are revising this program to include Internet access at the participating hotels for all members. Unlike some of these programs that include this benefit but limit it to a requirement that you stay in the hotel overnight or rent meeting space at that hotel before you can use Internet service, the IHG Rewards Club program allows members to benefit from the Internet service unconditionally. This means that even if they just attend an event, visit the restaurant or bar for something to eat or drink or see a guest who is staying at that hotel, they can use the wireless Internet service there.

This ability to use the Internet-access independent of whether you are staying at the hotel answers a key reality with people who use portable computing equipment. Here, one could be using the bar or restaurant as a meeting place or “second office” for activities like showing data that you have drawn down from work to show a colleague or client; or simply catching up with emails and similar online activity while away from the office.

The feature is intended to be rolled out gradually with Elite-level members being the first to benefit from July 2013, with all members benefiting from 2014. The IHG Rewards plan also is intended to work across all of the IHG hotel brands ranging from the premium Intercontinental hotels through the Crowne Plaza to the cheaper Holiday Inn places.

What I see of this is that it could be a chance for the hospitality industry to look at the realities concerning how people are using portable computer equipment on the property and work better towards improving the tariffs and packages for this reality.

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