Some of the common guests’ reactions:
“Location – negotiable
Complimentary Breakfast – flexible
Airport transports – doesn’t matter
Swimming pool – preferable but can work around it
Free Wi-Fi – absolutely”
Both business travellers and leisure travellers give topmost priority to their laptops, electronic tablets, and smartphones while packing their bags. There is always an urgent need to be “connected” at all times possible, whether it is to know your synchronised meeting schedule, send/receive emails or give timely updates on social media – you just need to have good connectivity.
“Hotels.com released a recent survey where hotel guests ranked free WiFi as the most important in-room amenity.”
For solo travellers with limited budget, taking an international data pack tends to be quite expensive hence they prefer to frequent hotels/restaurants where they can find free Wi-Fi. Apps like Square Register, Viber, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp!, Office Mobile, Google Maps help travellers keep up-to-date with information. If they have to function without them, they wouldn’t know where to go, what to do, which meeting to attend etc.
Free Wi-Fi was provided to guests during the curfew in Asia’s popular tourist city in order to enhance guest experience. It worked wonders! (Read: Free Wi-Fi and Extended Happy Hours during the Curfew)
Hotels across the globe are now changing their modus operandi and are offering free Wi-Fi to their guests, since they have realized that guests don’t look so too happy when charged extra for Wi-Fi. Small and mid-sized hotels can benefit immensely if they offer free and effective Wi-Fi to their guests. This will also increase revenue and global visibility. See how that works:
– Small and mid-sized hotels would rank high on internet searches when people search for hotels offering free Wi-Fi. You even have websites and company’s dedicated to see which hotel’s offer the best Wi-Fi globally (hotelwifitest, wefi).
– The revenue at the various POS would be increased; if free Wi-Fi is offered at the hotel’s restaurants than guests won’t be searching for the nearest restaurant that offers Wi-Fi. It gives hotels a great opportunity to upsell their various facilities and ensure guests end up spending a good amount of their time at their property.
– A chance to do some free advertising. Hotels can capitalise on its free Wi-Fi offer by connecting users to a default home page depicting the hotel and some of the latest offers available. There are numerous ways in which a hotel can leverage this aspect. They can offer special discounts or giveaways if guests virtually “check-in” at their hotel, or like their Facebook page.
Internet Connectivity is almost being equivalent to the free water bottles that guests end up expecting in their rooms. Hotels who are still contemplating on the pros and cons of whether or not to charge for internet should consider the big picture and realize they have much more to gain then lose.