HotelChatter's Annual Hotel WiFi Report 2010
This year marks HotelChatter's sixth annual hotel wifi report. Over the years we've documented the progression of hotel WiFi, from blatant disregard, to price-gouging for WiFi access, and reliable WiFi for loyalty program members, through guests taking matters in to their own hands with wireless lap top cards and 3G access. A year ago, we thought guest demand for free, reliable, hotel WiFi might just go away, thanks to 3G.
Well guess what? The demand for hotel WiFi has not gone away, quite the opposite, a growing number of hotel guests not only demand the hotel they book have proper wireless access but most will consider *not* staying at a hotel that can't meet their basic access needs. That's right, WiFi is a make or break amenity for many hotel guests that can sway booking decisions -- and that isn't going away.
How did this happen? Wasn't the new decade supposed to be all about getting off the hotel's WiFi grid and relying on own wireless 3G cards? It was. But it seems that the cellular networks are woefully unprepared for all the Foursquaring, Twittering, Facebooking, Tumblring and old-school emailing that we need to do. And don't think this is just an early adopter phenomenon.
More and more business travelers need to access their documents in the cloud, family travelers need to stream children's movies for their kids on their devices and laptops, and we probably don't have to mention the fact that the iPad and other popular media consumption devices focus on WiFi connectivity and not 3G.
However, if hotel general managers are licking their chops thinking they can charge guests exorbitant amounts for providing free, fast, reliable WiFi, not so fast. Remember all those side of the road motels that trumpeted "Free HBO?" Well the majority of guests view WiFi the same way--as a must-have amenity, not something they should pay for. This is the conundrum for hoteliers today, how can all this demand for more access translate into a revenue source, without alienating guests?
Today, the hotel landscape is firmly divided into those who follow Best WiFi Practices and those who do not. And while old stalwarts will probably never change their policies (cough, Four Seasons, cough), many up and coming hotel brands realize free, reliable, basic WiFi is an easy way to earn guest happiness and loyalty.
As to how hotels will be able to please their guests, deliver stellar free wifi, and turn their services into a revenue stream, might we suggest hoteliers Google "Freemium".
HotelChatter's WiFi Report 2010
|BEST HOTEL WIFI|
|WORST HOTEL WIFI|
|INTERNATIONAL HOTEL WIFI|
|FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS|
|2010 WIFI CHART|