By Courtney Trenwith
The internet is more important than TV or a mini bar, and lack of connectivity makes guests ‘very unhappy’, survey finds
Internet connectivity is by far the biggest priority for travellers when booking a hotel, according a survey by the largest international hotel operator in the Middle East.
More than 60 percent of the 10,000 people who responded to the global survey by InterContinental Hotels Group said the internet was the most important additional facility in their hotel room, above TV (17 percent), a bath (5 percent), a fridge (3 percent) and a mini bar (1 percent).
Nearly 90 percent said free internet would make them happier while travelling for business, while 65 percent would be “very unhappy” if they had no way of connecting with loved ones back home.
About 64 percent of travellers say they would prefer to communicate with people back home over the internet rather than a telephone.
Almost one-third would log onto the internet in their room when they first arrived. That topped the list of things that helped make a traveller feel more at home in their hotel room, followed by exploring the room (25 percent), taking a hot shower (14 percent) or unpacking (13 percent).
According to the survey, a lack of internet connection is the biggest travel headache for 40 percent of business travellers, followed by difficult transport links (26 percent) and a noisy location (24 percent).
IHG has 76 hotels in the Middle East, comprising about 20,000 rooms, operating under five brands and in 12 countries.
Digital connectivity is anticipated to become increasingly important in the fast growing travel hub as the region’s strong market attracts intra-regional and international business travellers.
The survey was carried out online by OnePoll.