SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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Loyalty Programs Make Holiday Dreams Come True

IHG® Rewards Club global study reveals one in three vacations are organized solely through loyalty programs

ATLANTA, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- According to new research released today by InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG®), 62% of global travelers said that it felt like a dream come true when redeeming points from their loyalty program all in one go. As a result, 65% of them are increasingly turning to loyalty programs to help fund their holidays, with one in three (37%) even organizing an entire holiday with points alone.

The research by IHG Rewards Club surveyed more than 10,000 of its members across 13 countries to reveal further insight into both the emotional and practical benefits that members get from their loyalty program. 69% of the respondents felt that points were a reward in exchange for their loyalty, whilst half (49%) even said that the personal welcome they received from IHG® hotels, was the top reason they choose to be part of IHG Rewards Club.

In addition to making holidays a reality for many, the study also found that rewards programs are increasingly used to enhance travelers' holidays. Some of the top choices for point redemptions include holiday accommodations (70%), hotel upgrades (32%) and even booking an extra week on an existing holiday (24%).

IHG Rewards Club is the first and largest hotel loyalty program in the world, with nearly 79 million members worldwide. IHG is one of the world's leading hotel companies, with over 4,700 hotels around the world and a family of nine trusted hotel brands to meet a variety of guests' needs - from a city center Holiday Inn® hotel, to an award winning InterContinental® resort. Its loyalty program offers advantages that no other hotel company can match including; free guest Internet for all IHG Rewards Club members worldwide across the IHG brand family and no blackout dates on Reward Nights - a loyalty program purposefully designed to see the customer win.

Susanna Freer Epstein, Senior Vice President Customer Loyalty Marketing, IHG said: "Loyalty programs play an important role in helping guests enjoy and get the most out of their holidays. That's why IHG Rewards Club makes it easy for members to redeem points across a family of nine IHG hotel brands. But this research shows that there is an emotional attachment too, in helping dreams become a reality and ensuring, with IHG Rewards Club, that our members receive a special welcome whenever and wherever they travel with us. "

Psychologist and author of Smart Change, Art Markman added: "Most people talk about wanting to find moments of joy in their lives when most of what they feel is stress, anxiety and the pinch of pressing budgets. The way you remove stress is to pursue the wonders of life, to seek and attain your desires. Fulfilling your dreams through travel is the best way to find joy and stay happy.

"Your IHG Rewards Club points give you the opportunity to create enhanced experiences, be it your own tour guide, an epic adventure in the mountains or just a relaxing holiday for you and your family. These experiences create memories that stay with you for a lifetime."

As part of the global survey, IHG Rewards Club has launched a digital hub at www.ihg.com/rewardingexperiences. It showcases the experiences available to nearly 79 million members worldwide – from a cultural experience at some of the world's most famous museums, to a special family celebration or a once in-a-lifetime relaxing spa experience. It includes reviews from members and global travelers from all around the world.

Additionally, as of July 1st 2014, members will also earn more IHG Rewards Club points when they stay at any of the 178 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts worldwide. For every $1USD spent[i] on qualifying revenue during stays, such as food and beverage, these members will now earn ten IHG Rewards Club points.

Visit www.ihg.com/rewardingexperiences to reveal your traveler type and learn more about IHG Rewards Club rewards and experiences.

IHG Rewards Club conducted global research with 10,159 IHG Rewards Club members across 13 countries.

Notes to Editors:
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.

IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty program with nearly 79 million members worldwide. The program was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free Internet across all hotels, globally.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 688,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, with more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.

[i] Hotel charges not eligible include: No Shows, Gift certificates, Health Club/Spa fees, Ticket sales, Internet Access, Audio Visual, Flowers, postage, etc.

SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

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