With technology constantly advancing, we’ve all become stuck in a digital world. When it comes to travelling, more people seem to be jetting off, and what once was seen as a luxury has now become a necessity for the younger generation. We look to see whether a free internet connection has determined the way that we travel.
The expectations of globe-trotters
Travel agents, airlines and hotels are all changing their marketing methods to enhance the experience of organising a trip abroad. When it comes to the millennial demographic, 46% book travel through a smartphone which means websites must be optimised and responsive to fit customer needs.
To validate how much digital perks have impacted the way we travel, 87% look to popular social media platform, Facebook, for travel inspiration, meaning that they are using the internet before they lay down any solid foundations for booking a holiday. Research suggests that a free hotspot connection for consumers was a vital aspect of booking a room. But what were the statistics surrounding these types of travellers?
It was found that Wi-Fi was vital for 49% of business travellers. This was followed by free breakfast that came at a poor 14%, proximity to mass transit, transportation and shops all at 11%, and a small 6% with regard to having a comfortable work chair and a desk in a room — which comes as a surprise due to the purpose of their trip.
Business travellers require constant communication with people around the world, and the internet allows them to do this — aligning the importance of Wi-Fi within hotels and clarifying the need for hoteliers to make changes.
Travelling for leisure
Those who travelled to get away from their usual surroundings, only 25% required a free internet connection. What’s more, 22% required a free breakfast after their night’s stay, 15% had free parking at the forefront of their minds and 10% needed a hotel with a swimming pool included before booking.
An astonishing 65% of people connect to the Wi-Fi within seven minutes of arriving at their hotel — they probably haven’t check into their room at this point, highlighting the need we have for internet usage.
Knowing what travellers want
At one time, we would decide whether to book a hotel or not because of interior design, but now, we propose the question — what’s more important, location or free Wi-Fi? When guests were asked at a hotel in London, 67% said Wi-Fi was the deciding factor on whether they chose a hotel or not, topping 65% of people who said they would decide purely on geographic location. This could be due to the fact that transport has become more efficient around the country, with most services also introducing free Wi-Fi connection to commuters.
An incredibly low 58% of guests prioritised a decent night’s sleep, which was quite low when looking at the figures surrounding Wi-Fi. But what can hoteliers do to work with what customers are demanding?
KBR, business WiFi providers, found that hotels were assigning higher budgets for technological advancements (56%) to better the consumers experience. This was because, on average, short-term guests will bring up to three devices and guests that are staying for longer periods tend to bring more — showing that hotels must start to meet the demands of their consumers to stay on top and highlighting the importance of making bold movements within the accommodation industry.