Business road warriors have at least this much in common with ET: Calling home while away is their top priority.
But it seems in the 21st century, just hearing a voice on the telephone no longer suffices.
And that means they expect free Internet connections. The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) says it very clearly: “Being able to connect online with family and friends is now the top priority for travelers.”
Conversely, not being able to do so, says Hotelmarketing.com (which reported on the report), causes 40% of travelers more stress than any other issue except transportation ones.
Of course the results of the IHG study play nicely into their new program of free Internet service, first for elite members and, next year, to all members of the IHG loyalty program.
Self promotion aside, the results provide some interesting insights :
• Sixty-one percent of the 1000 or so travelers queried said that after Internet service, the next important in-room amenities were TV (17%), bath (5%), fridge (3%) and minibar (1%).
We do hear, by the way, persistent rumors that the minibar is on its way out.
• Interestingly, 64% of travelers say they prefer to communicate with people back home via Internet, and not phone.
• Sixty-five percent added that they would be very unhappy traveling “if they had no way of connecting with loved ones.”
One relationship expert says in today’s world of travel, travelers need more than a voice at the end of a phone line. They want to see their kids’ smiles, to see their faces and maybe read a bedtime story via Skype.
Seems they also want to look their loved ones in the eyes and connect with them.
Makes sense from a business perspective since we assume happy travelers are productive ones.