Hotels Charging For Wifi

Posted on 2nd Mar 2015

It's amazing that some hotels are still charging for Wifi. Many smaller, independent hotels do it because they do not understand the implications or still consider it a chargeable benefit but there are also some larger chains such as Hilton who are still charging.

Wifi is an essential

The rule when it comes to what to charge for tends to come down to whether something is a luxury or an essential. For example it would be unusual for a hotel to charge for towels, because they are an essential. If you do not understand that Wifi is a business essential then you are still analogue and you need to get a digital mindset sooner rather than later. Still, the point may be arguable.

Charging for Wifi may be losing you business

A research company called Resonance found that paying for Wifi was the number one gripe for millionaires who travel, which covers the most desirable guests that a hotel can have (not because they are any better but because they probably spend more). So, your most desirable guests may be choosing a competitor who does not charge and you probably would not know if that was happening.

Charging for Wifi may be affecting your reviews

Resonance found that 24% of Americans update their social media at least once a day when they are travelling. In the specific 18-34 age group this increases to 51%. This points to the future. It is quite common for people to complain about paying for Wifi in reviews and in many cases reviewers will knock a star off a rating. It makes commercial sense to provide free Wifi.

As Chris Fair, president of Resonance, points out; "in the 19th century hotels charged extra if you wanted hot water for a bath". Free Wifi is, probably, at this stage the standard. However, there are still a few hotels out there charging. Do they fully understand the implications that this may have on their business?

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