WIFI Can Be The Maker or Breaker

As some of you may already know, I have a personal mission to encourage all hospitality & tourism outlets to offer a reasonable period of free Wi-Fi – in fact, to keep on at this like a dog with a bone is one of my professional New Year’s Resolutions!

Here are my top reasons you should give free Wi-Fi at your hospitality or tourism business;

  • A recent survey by Hotels.com reported that free Wi-Fi is a must when choosing a hotel room and that it is now the primary in-room and hotel perk that they will base their decision around.
  • 31% of those surveyed by hotels.com said they expect free Wi-Fi in a hotel now.
  • People are more likely to mention and talk about your business on social media if they are given the opportunity to connect easily with free Wi-Fi.
  • You’ll encourage roaming sales people to use your cafe or bar for meetings with people that live locally and will probably come back.
  • Everybody knows how inexpensive internet is, by charging your customers; they know it’s just another way for you to make more money on top of their coffee.
  • It can encourage people to stay in your cafe or restaurant for longer & spend more money.
  • If you don’t, you’ll be put to shame by the Canyons Resort in Utah in the US, who have managed to offer free Wi-Fi from Canyon to Canyon covering its entire hotel, meeting space and ski fields!
  • You’ll also be behind this little town in rural Otago that offers free Wi-Fi throughout the whole main street. (It works; I used to drive straight through!)
  • By adding a landing page you’ll encourage more people to Like your brand on Facebook, Follow you on Twitter or check-in on FourSquare.
  • The technology to set up a secure free Wi-Fi spot is now very affordable & the ongoing costs minimal.
  • You’ll actively encourage new customers.
  • If they can run to the cost of offering free Wi-Fi on buses and planes, why can’t you?
  • You stop the complaints from people who expect it.
  • Giving something for free will make you feel good inside.
  • Most importantly, because your clients wants it!

If you oversee the website of an RTO or DMO why not try adding ‘places you can access free Wi-Fi’ to your home page. It will be great for your visitors and a compelling incentive for your operators to start offering it!

Do you offer free Wi-Fi at your business? Do you plan to during 2012?
Do you run a travel site? Do you let people filter by properties that offer free Wi-Fi?
Do you look for places with free Wi-Fi as a consumer? Would you like to see more places offer free WiFi?

I’d love to hear your thoughts as a business operator and as a consumer.

As always, if you enjoyed the blog post then please share it on Twitter and let other people have their say too!

6 Comments

  1. Maid In Australia January 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Totally agree. I stayed at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa recently … and was amazed to find that not only was the wifi excellent, but it was free – both in my room and by the pool and in the lobby areas. The resort also provided free computers for those without laptops with free internet access. I was really impressed. Some hotels have outlandish charges for just small windows of time and this really was an impressive extra for me, and enabled me to catch up on work while I was there. (Not that you want to, but it’s the difference between being able to stay longer and having to go home earlier than you would like to, especially if you have kids).

  2. Wilderness Motorhomes NZ March 14, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    I agree too. In this day and age, almost all travellers need to be connected. Although it’s not feasible to put wifi in a campervan, we have just teamed up with Family Parks NZ to offer all our hirers free internet when they stay at the holiday park network. We have also added a page on an new website (from April 2012) http://www.wilderness.co.nz devoted to how to find free internet in NZ.

  3. Brian Daw April 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Last weekend I stayed two nights in a better hotel in the New Plymouth CBD who charged a ridiculous price for internet access via their wifi. My suite was obviously in the right corner as I could access the free city wifi – so choose your rooms carefully!

  4. James Hacon April 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks for your experiences and thoughts – much appreciated!

  5. Louise Roche June 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Norwegian.no offer free WiFi on their flights and most coaches and trains here have it too. We’re flying to NZ this weekend and are really hoping the long flight will have free internet access!

  6. Rob November 30, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    There is some free WIFI around in New Zealand. http://www.campervan-hire-new-zealand.com is offering free internet hotspot inside there campervans! Having internet access on most places and any time of the day is more and more important! We make sure you do can go online! Downside is that in the middle of nowhere it will not work, lets say in the middle of a forest but otherwise: enjoy browsing and skyping! Most of the libraries in New Zealand offering free limited internet during openings hours

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