Is it time to demand free Wi Fi from hotels?


SHE's an avid user of Wi Fi when SHE's on the road: with an Ipad and an Iphone, accessing Wi Fi is the only way to roam internationally. Cafes, restaurants, bars, fast food outlets - there are plenty of places advertising 'free Wi Fi' (and of course any number of Apps helping you find these locations).  And hooray to these businesses, aren't you clever? The offer of free Wi Fi also means there'll be some spending going on while you're there. Ah yep...that's rocket science isn't it?! More often than not hotels will charge for Wi Fi. SHE just doesn't get it. Why not offer complimentary access in the bar or restaurant? No? Prefer the extra revenue you'll think you'll earn from us? $12 an hour/$25 a day - no thanks. So off SHE goes, with the laptop, Ipad, Iphone to the cafe around the corner: to catch up on emails, maybe a Skype call home, browse the internet, research the next stop. And this is thirsty work...SHE'll order a coffee, maybe skip breakfast in the hotel and have it here...there could be a spend of $10 or a $100. So,  in fact, SHE has paid for the luxury of Wi Fi access, SHE's just done it happily.

A recent Luxury Travel Magazine article quotes a survey that found "71 per cent of hotel guests say having Wi-Fi in their rooms influences where they stay". And "free Wi-Fi was the most desired amenity for hotel guests". Hello...hotel people...are you listening?

To the General Managers and owners of hotels who just can't bring themselves to offer free Wi Fi - SHE thinks you have an opportunity here. In these uncertain times why not give yourself a competitive edge, and maybe increase your food and beverage revenue while you're there. The smart hotels will give us what we'll soon demand: free Wi Fi included in your hotel rate or we'll vote with our feet.