Hong Kong's Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, which has 60 hotels throughout China and around the world, says the global financial crisis has pushed it to now offer all guests free Internet services.

"Getting connected while on the road is the number one priority of our business travelers and many of our valued customers view Internet access as absolutely crucial. Offering free Internet is further evidence of our commitment to Shangri-La's service to our customers during these uncertain times. No longer considered a luxury, guests are demanding high-speed Internet access as an essential room requirement and as something that should be included as a standard service by an international hotel group," said Madhu Rao, managing director and chief executive officer of Shangri-La.

While budget hotel chains like Super 8 have always provided free Internet connectivity in their mainland China locations, many luxury hotels have the misguided idea that their business travel guests are happy to spend money for Internet connectivity, a paid service that in ChinaTechNews.com's poll last year was ranked as one of the top annoyances executives had while traveling in China.

Realizing perhaps that business travelers understand the cost of Internet connections have diminished so low in recent years, but some other hotel chains still charge extravagant and ridiculous fees for Internet connectivity, Shangri-La's free Wi-Fi and wired Internet services are available in all areas of every one of the group's hotels, including guestrooms, public areas, restaurants, lounges and function areas.

In addition to its 60 current locations coming under either the Shangri-La or Traders hotel brands, Shangri-La has over 50 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Japan, Macau, Maldives, Philippines, Qatar, Seychelles, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States.


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