This is a pretty big problem for your guests, when they want to log in and check what is happening in the social world or “Google” the closest shoe shop to your hotel, but they are hit with a block which only goes away when you pay for the connection.
According to a Hotel.com survey hotel guests would overwhelmingly take Wi-Fi over high-end coffee makers, an iPod dock, video game systems and workout equipment/DVDs. 56% of respondents say that free Wi-Fi is their number-one must-have when traveling for business, while 34% name free Wi-Fi as the number-one factor in choosing a hotel – even on leisure stays. Just 11% of travellers said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel. So are you providing your guests free Wi-Fi?
A few years ago, you would find that only business men and women would like to access the internet whilst staying at a hotel, but not today. With iPads and other tablets, mobile phones and laptops being so popular people take them pretty much everywhere with them.
With social media almost taking over the world, there are so many people who tweet and post their statuses every few hours and post pictures of what they have been doing and eating. If your guest has had a great meal and wanted to tweet a picture of it, so their 500 or so friends and followers can see how amazing your hotels food is, but you are charging them to do so – they pretty much won’t. Not only will this being annoying for them but they won’t be telling all those people how great your hotel is (for free!!).
Last time I stayed in central London I took my Kindle with me, as I am not all that familiar with the London Underground. So after I had eaten my lovely breakfast, I sat in their cafe (bought a cup of tea) and searched for what route I needed to take to get me to the Natural History Museum – with their free wi-fi. So not only had I spent a bit more money in the hotel, had a really good day out without getting lost but I didn’t have a bad word to say about the hotel on the review email I received a few days after my stay.
You can pop into most local coffee shops and enjoy complimentary wi-fi with your skinny decaf latte, travel from Leeds to London on the East Midlands Service and search the internet for free. You can now even get free wi-fi access just walking through Leeds City centre – so why are some hotels still charging?
Can you risk losing guests goodwill all for the sake of charging them for internet access?« View all blog articles.