88pc of travellers expect Wi-Fi Internet access to be free: survey

A new study has underlined the significance of free Wi-Fi Internet for guests in their hotel selection process. According to TripAdvisor’s latest survey, Wi-Fi Internet Access has topped the list of top five most important amenities to US travellers.

As per the findings of the survey, featuring more than 1,000 US travellers and more than 600 US hotel representatives, 88 percent of travellers expect Wi-Fi Internet access to be free of charge in all lodging types, 41 percent of travellers have never paid for Wi-Fi Internet access and 65 percent said they have used free Wi-Fi Internet in an accommodation’s lobby or common areas to avoid paying for in-room access.

Top 5 most important amenities to US Travellers

Top 5 least important amenities to US Travellers

According to the survey, 93 percent of accommodations report offering some form of free Wi-Fi Internet access to their guests.

Of the travellers surveyed, 54 percent said they have cancelled a lodging reservation because they found better amenities at a different property.

There are a number of opportunities for lodging businesses to shift the focus from some services to others to capture travellers’ attention, said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business.

For example, offering complimentary or discounted tickets, recommendations or even a shuttle service to local attractions or a nearby airport may help tip the balance in a property’s favour, especially when one considers that more than half of travellers say they’ve cancelled a reservation because they found better amenities elsewhere.

Earlier this month, hotels.com’s survey, which asked travellers to share their favourite in-room and hotel perks, indicated that free Wi-Fi is being overwhelmingly factored into the decision on which hotel to book. Thirty-eight percent of travellers reported that freeWi-Fi played a part in their decision as a “must” to stay at a specific hotel, 35 percent reported it is the simple amenity they want to see more in hotels, with 31 percent wishing it would become a standard in all hotels in 2012.

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