Is it a struggle for you to go an entire day without glancing at your social media accounts or checking your emails? You are definitely not alone. Today, Americans rely on the internet multiple times a day and are constantly updating social websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Wireless Internet has become a crucial part of our daily life. For most, it is the expectation that it is available and for all of us in the Travel Industry, it is an important deciding factor when choosing a hotel for Business and Incentive Travel programs.
Social media has made it possible for us to share our lives with family and friends by posting updates and photos throughout the day. Tourists traveling for pleasure want to share images of their luxurious accommodations and the beautiful scenery they are encountering. In most cases, Wi-Fi is needed to share these experiences. So strong is the pull to be social that research suggests guests would rather have complimentary Wi-Fi instead of a complimentary breakfast.
Up until recently, hotels have charged substantial amounts for wireless internet, but lately more and more hotels are listening to their guests and have slowly made the change to providing reliable Wi-Fi free of charge.
Wi-Fi is particularly important to business travelers because it allows them to keep in contact with their colleagues and carry out work obligations that do not stop just because they are away from the office. Many executives find that much of their responsibilities require extensive amounts of time working remotely and ultimately end up needing to work from their hotel room at all hours of the day. Having access to free Wi-Fi has become the reason for brand preference and brand changes among business travelers.
Hotels charge for Wi-Fi to build an additional revenue stream, but the opportunity cost of not offering free Wi-Fi is much greater than the revenue created by charging for it. Business owners say free Wi-Fi helps make customers feel welcome, and more than half of business owners believe that providing free Wi-Fi results in higher sales per visit. Guests will become loyal to a hotel and continue coming back for future trips if their conveniences are met. Another aspect is that the cost of setting up a Wi-Fi hot spot is minimal, but it goes a long way in fostering the long-lasting relationship you want to create with your customers. Some hotels offer free Wi-Fi, but charge an additional amount for speed. This way guests are happy with access to an internet connection, and hotels are still creating additional revenue by charging for faster speed.
If you are planning on taking a vacation soon or traveling for business purposes here are some hotel Wi-Fi policies to keep in mind:
- IHG: Free for all Rewards Club members.
- Hyatt: Free for all guests. Premium Wi-Fi available for a fee (Free for Diamond and Platinum Hyatt Gold Passport members).
- Marriott: Free for all Rewards members. Premium Wi-Fi available for a fee (Free for Gold and Platinum elite members).
- Hilton: Free Wi-Fi for all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Premium Wi-Fi available on a tiered pricing system.
- Starwood: Free Wi-Fi for all Starwood Preferred Guest members. Premium Wi-Fi free for SPG Gold, Platinum, and Partners.
Although it is our goal to get participants to tune out when they are on an Incentive Trip with JNR, we understand that completely disconnecting is not always a possibility. Our programs are built to reward, not cause inconveniences, so our travel planners are very mindful of hotel Wi-Fi policies.
Are you planning a bucket list travel excursion or a big business meeting? Let JNR take care of the details for you. From free Wi-Fi to negotiating discounts JNR understands business travel and we will do what is right for your organization. Give us a call.
By JNR Incorporated
Written by Tatum Dumont
JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.