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

The Virgin Islands: Which Island Suits You?

The Virgin Islands are located in the heart of the Caribbean. People from all over the world travel here for their superb beaches and breathtaking ocean views. Passports are not required for Americans to reach this scenic destination, although it is recommended for easier travel. There are three main islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands, all with exquisite features.  Which island best fits your desires for a nice getaway?

  • St. John

This island is the smallest of the three and consists of 75% National Park land. St. John matches the British Virgin Isles in tranquility and is a nature lover’s paradise. It is the least developed island with bumpy roads and only a handful of stores. The beautiful surroundings are calming and peaceful creating a relaxing atmosphere for all visitors. St. Johns holds numerous festivals throughout the year ranging from bike and boat races to live music shows. If you are looking for a soothing vacation away from a busy city life then this is the place for you.

  • St. Thomas

With an endless amount of activities on this island you are bound to be entertained. It is home to Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Full of excitement and adventure, St. Thomas offers shopping, sightseeing, snorkeling, dining and much more. This Island has the oldest synagogue in use in the U.S. today and contains the oldest building in the Virgin Islands. If you love history and culture then this island is the perfect spot.

  • St. Croix

From its diverse landscape to its calm and relaxing beaches, St. Croix is the largest and most popular destination in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The strong Danish influence of towns Christiansted and Frederiksted create a laid-back experience for tourists. Every two years at Buck Islands Reef on St. Croix visitors have a chance to spot the endangered Hawksbill turtles that grow up to three feet long and over 200 pounds. This island offers endless underwater opportunities and sets the scene for a true tropical delight. After exploring this magnificent location you will not walk away disappointed.

These three islands offer a variety of leisure, so the perfect fit for you is inevitable. Every spot is absolutely beautiful and leaves a lifelong impression. The soft sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, swaying palms and warm breezy weather make the U.S. Virgin Islands the perfect vacation spot for anyone looking for some fun in the sun.

If you would like to learn more about bringing a group to the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 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 in 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.

Costa Rican Spotlight: Five of the Best Beaches in Costa Rica

While there are many aspects that draw tourists to Costa Rica including the wildlife and culture, the pristine beaches are the main draw for a lot of tourists. Some love the buzz of a popular beach and all the fun activities that come with it, while others search for their isolated piece of beach heaven. We have put together a list of the Top Five Beaches of Costa Rica to help you navigate the over 800 miles of coastline.

Playa Avellana, Tamarindo

If the surf has brought you to Costa Rica, then Playa Avellana is a great choice. Known as “Little Hawaii”, due to the constant scattering of surfers in the water, this famous break sits on the northern end of the undeveloped beach and can see swells reach 18ft. For those more inclined to relax than thrill seek, head over to Lola’s Beach Bar, the main watering hole on the beach. Lola’s is named after the Bar’s pet pig who has been known to join surfers in the waves.

Cano Island, Corcovado Bay

A short boat ride off the coast of Osa Peninsula takes you to the protected biological reserve of Cano Island. Take a day tour over to the island and enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving with the sea turtles, dolphins and colorful fish that inhabit the vibrant coral reefs.

Playa Guiones, Nosara

Like Playa Avellana, Playa Guiones is another renowned surf spot. This beginner-friendly spot is known for its consistency. Keep in mind that this is a secluded spot and lacks many of the usual beach amenities. However, its natural beauty makes up for this.

Playa Virador, Papagayo

For those after a more luxurious day at the beach, Playa Virador is a good option. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo resides within the 15 mile stretch of white sand coastline.  Here guests of the peninsula can enjoy Playa Virador with the comfort of the hotel amenities.

Manuel Antonio National Park

South of the town of Quepos lies the four beautiful and unspoiled beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. The lush tropical forest grows right to the edge of the beach where local wildlife, including sloths, are often seen by tourists. The national park draws surfers and sunbathers alike.  A limit is placed on the amount of people allowed to visit per day, letting you to find a quiet spot all to yourself – just make sure you arrive early in the day or you risk being turned away when they reach capacity.

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: “Surfer at Sunset on Playa Guiones – Costa Rica” by Chris Goldberg is licensed by CC by 2.0

 

Incentive Travel Spotlight: The Allure of a Pura Vida Incentive

What is it about the glamour that seems to be built into the words ‘Costa Rica’?  This country nestled at the base of Central America between Nicaragua and Panama, bordered by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, elicits feelings of mystery and exclusivity to most travellers on an Incentive Travel escape.  For the most part, these well-travelled individuals have explored the likes of Mexico, Hawaii and islands within the Caribbean, but making the journey just a bit further south is unchartered territory.  The draw of a Pura Vida lifestyle is instantly appealing and motivating making it a perfect destination choice for companies choosing an Incentive Travel location.

Aside from a year-round tropical climate, Costa Rica shares little else with her Central American neighbors.  One of the most stable and prosperous economies in Latin America makes for a very safe excursion.  This coupled with the reassurance of Resort brands like Four Seasons, Marriott and Westin, travellers are met with a sense of well-being and comfort that is not always guaranteed when traveling throughout the region.

What other mysteries does this country hold?  To start, 25% of the land is dedicated to conservation and protected National Parks.  Costa Rica is a land of extreme natural beauty.  With a priority placed on the commitment to preservation, visitors will forever be in awe of the lush green forests, pristine waterfalls and a plethora of unique animals like sloths, monkeys and over 50 species of hummingbirds.  Our travel programs always include local flowers in guest rooms, activities that bring our participants a first hand experience with Costa Rica’s natural surroundings and even fresh fish from the local waters caught and cooked in time for dinner.

When looking for things to do zip lining is synonymous with the Costa Rican landscape and a must do on all Incentive Travel programs.  The canopy of the jungle becomes your playground as you fly from platform to platform on tours ranging from 50 to 800 meters in length.  Tarzan swings, waterfall hikes and superman cables are just a few of the options you’ll be faced with as you take on this extraordinary adventure.  These aerial tours test your bravery as you soar through the skies getting a true birds eye perspective of this beautiful country.

One of greatest features of Costa Rica is its variety. With only a short amount of time spent driving across a country smaller than Lake Michigan visitors can experience volcanoes, rainforest, beaches, national parks, cloud forests and hot springs.  Over 800 miles of coastline give tourists plenty of beach space for a fun in the sun getaway and with water temperatures in the 80’s, there is no excuse for visitors not to dive in.  We tend to stay on the Caribbean side of the country but the beauty of this excursion is that you can see it all in a very short amount of time.

With Pura Vida at its core, it is no surprise that Costa Rica ranks at the top of the Happy Planet Index.  Taking into consideration factors such as life expectancy, overall well-being and a highly favorable ecological footprint score, Costa Rica has some of the happiest people on the planet.  The pride for the country is so evident that it can even be heard each morning at 7am when every radio station plays Noble patria, tu hermosa bandera (Noble homeland, your beautiful flag)- the national anthem for Ticos and Ticas to sing along with as they start their day.

 

If you would like more information on how your sales organization can motivate with “the Pure Life” experience please contact JNR.  We would love to set up a travel incentive program custom tailored to your organization’s needs.  Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Barbara Williamson

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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: “Hold it Right There!” By Steve Corey is licensed by CC by 2.0

Costa Rican Travel Spotlight: Dia Nacional del Boyero

Just over a week ago in the upscale suburb of San Jose’, Escazu’, Costa Ricans celebrated the 32nd annual Dia de los Boyeros, or the Day of the Oxcart Driver.   Brightly painted oxcarts used to be the primary mode of transportation for pulling crops from farm to market.  These carts were also seen regularly hauling coffee beans, Costa Rica’s first major export.

In the early 19th century most of the coffee grown was harvested around the main town centers in the Central Plateau and then transported by oxcart through the mountains to the Pacific port town of Puntarenas. From there, it would be sent off to Europe and eventually throughout the world.  For many years the country relied heavily on their agriculture.  Bananas, pineapples and coffee were once major cash crops for Costa Rica.

Although today, tourism earns more for the country than all of these items combined, the people of Costa Rica still hold farming in high regard.  In this annual celebration up to 500 brightly-painted oxcarts gather in front of the church in the center of San Miguel de Escazu’.  The community then makes the pilgrimage to a small mountain town called San Antonio de Escazu’.  Once arrived, a priest gives a blessing to the crops and the animals brought along with the farmers and the celebration begins.  This day long traditional gathering is filled with food, marimba music, dancing and fiesta.

You can see more from this year’s celebration on their Facebook page or contact JNR directly to learn how we can organize a trip to Costa Rica, where you can bring your top performers to see first hand the beautiful colors of Dia de los Boyero.  Please call us at 800.343.4546 or email to info@jnrcorp.com.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Barbara Williamson

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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.