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Free Wi-Fi dictates hotel choice – survey

66% of respondents wanted free Wi-Fi to become an industry standard
66% of respondents wanted free Wi-Fi to become an industry standard

The availability of free Wi-Fi is the main factor for travellers when choosing a hotel, a new survey has found.

Research from online accommodation booking site, Hotels.com, found that 66% of respondents chose free Wi-Fi as the hotel amenity they most wished would become an industry standard, while 56% said it is the facility they most look out for when travelling on business. A further 34% of respondents identified free Wi-Fi as the most important amenity for leisure stays.

These results meant that free Wi-Fi scored higher than both free parking and complimentary breakfast when it comes to selecting a hotel for both leisure and business travel. Just 11% of travellers said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel.

“With an increase in airlines and airports offering free Wi-Fi, tech-savvy travellers expect the experience to continue upon arrival at their hotel,” said Kate Hopcraft of Hotels.com. “They are using their tablets, smartphones and laptops to plan activities, stay connected to family and even order a delivery meal straight to their hotel room, so it’s no surprise they require free and fast Wi-Fi.”

The Hotels.com study found that hotels guests are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of technology. Twenty-percent of respondents said they would like to have fully-connected rooms which are controlled by a single remote, while 15% said they would like hotels to provide information on handheld tablets.

Free breakfast (31%) ranked as the top non-tech item travellers want to see become standard at all hotels, while the new trend of ‘happy hours’ offering free evening drinks and snacks was the most popular recent innovation, with 42% of the vote.

The Hotels.com surveyed 8,600 people across 28 countries.

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