SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Nikita Ivanov, Sean Houghton

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We're All Going On A Smartphone Vacation

Smartphone revealed as one of the most important items for two in five travelers' to pack in their suitcases

ATLANTA, Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  Forget the sunscreen, magazines and guide books, new research released today by InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) reveals that of more than 10,000 travelers across 13 countries worldwide, the must-have item for a vacation is your smartphone.

According to the research by IHG® Rewards Club, nearly 40 percent of travelers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take on vacation - and 67 percent agree that they will use it every single day. As a result, 1 in 10 travelers clock an impressive average of 70 hours online while on vacation - almost 20 percent of the actual time spent on a two-week vacation.

IHG® Rewards Club is the first and largest hotel loyalty programme in the world, with nearly 80 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.

IHG® Rewards Club members are IHG's most valued guests. In line with its aim of rewarding them for their loyalty, it surveyed more than 10,000 of its members worldwide in order to gain further insight into their relationships with their loyalty program and to learn more about their travel needs. 

The survey found that the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 64 percent of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32 percent to Skype friends and family back home, while on vacation. However, recounting vacation experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a vacation, with one in ten travelers saying this is as enjoyable as the vacation itself.

Planning a vacation is, nearly, half the fun - (45 percent) of all travelers say it is the best part of a vacation and more than a third (37 percent) spend over a day researching a vacation.

Susanna Freer-Epstein, Senior Vice President Customer Loyalty Marketing, IHG said:
"IHG is a brand and consumer driven company. We use insight to anticipate consumer trends and behavior. This research shows how mobile technology is revolutionizing the holiday experience – from enabling travelers to dream about and plan their holidays, to helping enjoy the trip itself and share their experiences with their friends and family." 

The survey also uncovered that 42 percent of travelers check social media every day while on vacation, with 25 percent of them even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep.  Taking selfies is also increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to share vacation experiences, with 25 percent of travelers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for vacation selfies.

As part of the global survey, IHG® Rewards Club has launched a digital hub at www.ihgrewardsclub.com/rewardingexperiences. It showcases the experiences available to nearly 80 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.

IHG® Rewards Club 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.

Additionally, as of July 1st 2014, members earn more IHG® Rewards Club points when they stay at any of the 180 InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts worldwide. For every $1USD spent on qualifying revenue during stays, such as food and beverage, these members will now earn ten IHG® Rewards Club points.

Visit www.ihgrewardsclub.com/rewardingexperiences to learn more about IHG® Rewards Club rewards and experiences and to reveal your traveller type.

The top ten uses of smartphones by vacation makers are:

  1. Checking work emails – 68%
  2. Navigation / Maps – 67%
  3. Texting – 64%
  4. Taking vacation photos – 51%
  5. Making calls – 42%
  6. Snapping pictures of meals – 35%
  7. Updating Facebook / Twitter – 32%
  8. Skype-ing friends/family – 32%
  9. Playing games – 27%
  10. Taking selfies – 25%

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 and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts.

IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 80 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns 4,700 hotels and 693,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,200 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.

SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

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