JNR Spotlight: Complimentary Wi-Fi in Hotels

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

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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.

Photo: “WiFi in the lobby” by Ann Althouse is licensed by CC by 2.0

JNR Spotlight: Brain Foods for Meetings

Not only should foods be wholesome and nutritious in everyday life, but when it comes to feeding the crowds at a meeting or conference they should also boost concentration and learning ability. This category of food has been labeled “Brain Food” and is used to improve mood, motivation and intellectual performance.

When learning is an important aspect of an event, maintaining steady blood sugar levels through complex carbohydrates and consumption of foods with low glycemic indexes can improve concentration and ultimately, ROI of the meeting.

“Brain Foods” improve brain function and increase alertness.  What we find though is foods that are traditionally served by caterers produce chemicals in the body that make participants unfocused and tired and should be avoided.

So what should you be serving at your next meeting to get the most out of your participants and see a higher ROI?

Breakfast:

  • Avoid sugary foods and those made with white flour such as doughnuts, Danishes and bagels (unless it is whole grain).
  • Offer meal options that are high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and whole grains.
  • Fresh juices, antioxidant yogurt bars, hard-boiled eggs and cereals are great options.

Lunch:

  • Avoid meats that produce tryptophan in the brain, such as red meats and turkey.
  • Try to stay away from highly processed foods and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid fatty foods that require more energy to break down. Ever felt tired or had a “food coma” after a big meal? This could be due to your body using a large amount of energy to break down the fat in the foods you just consumed.
  • Offer smaller options with proteins such as chicken and fish over a bed of quinoa, brown rice or whole-grain pasta.

Dinner:

  • Most of the day’s learnings will have been achieved by dinner so this is a meal where participants can enjoy traditional options including red meats.
  • Smaller portions are still a good option.

Snacks:

The following list was compiled by The National Conference Center and released in their paper The Science of Food for Thoughts: Enhancing Meetings Through Food.

  • H2O
  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Yogurt
  • Mangoes
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Whole Grain Breads
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Energy Bars

It is easy to see the benefit that a healthy and nutritious menu can have on participant experiences at meetings and conferences.  With hotels such as Omni Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts introducing “Brain Food” options to their catering menus, the change can be easy.

If you would like to learn more about how you can increase the ROI of your meetings and conference through the introduction of “Brain Foods” please contact JNR. We would love to set up a time to talk about your organization’s needs. Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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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.

Photo: “Food is for eating and good food is to be enjoyed.” by Gloria Garcia  is licensed by CC by 2.0