Wi-Fi ‘Wake-up Call’ For Hotel Industry

Most travelers would not return to a hotel where the Wi-Fi internet service was unsatisfactory according to a BT survey of regular hotel users across North America. The survey, conducted by JupiterResearch, reveals a hotel’s brand reputation is at stake when guests experience an unreliable high speed wireless internet service during their stay Nearly half of all guests surveyed attributed their levels of satisfaction with onsite Wi-Fi internet access to the hotel group or brand and 44 per cent blamed the hotel they were staying in at the time for any problems, highlighting the damage a poor Wi-Fi internet service can cause to a hotel’s reputation.

Paul Harrison, vice president, BT Travel and Leisure North America, said: “The message to the hotel industry is clear; your Wi-Fi internet service is an important extension of your brand, ignore it at your peril! In today’s competitive hospitality market a 100 per cent reliable Wi-Fi internet service is a key requirement of customer retention.”

Business matters

More than half of hotel guests questioned would not stay in a hotel again if they were dissatisfied with the Wi-Fi internet service provided and a quarter of respondents would tell co-workers, friends and family.

The bulk of frequent hotel guests surveyed were business users, with over a third of guests surveyed making more than 13 business trips annually that include a hotel stay. 87 per cent of these business travelers placed high levels of importance on the availability of a Wi-Fi internet connection during their visit.

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Harrison continued: “Business accounts make up a large proportion of hotel guests, as mobile working continues to increase. A poor Wi-Fi internet service could cost a hotel operator an entire corporate account or large business conference.”

Continually monitored service

BT’s Wi-Fi package for the hospitality industry enables hotels and motels to own-brand their Wi-Fi service with the assurance of a 100 per cent continually monitored, managed service across all hotel locations to ensure guests receive a reliable connection around the clock.

For a flat monthly fee, BT is offering hoteliers the strategic advice and practical implementation skills required to get the most from Wi-Fi technology, leveraging the company’s many years experience in change management for customers around the world. As new business models emerge, hotels and motels will also be able to adapt their systems to ensure revenue streams remain constant, rather than be tied to one inflexible vendor or existing infrastructure.

BT has been helping major US retailers improve their store operations and bolster their bottom line through the deployment of in-store wireless networks for more than five years. It is now one of the leading Wi-Fi vendors in the US, designing and deploying wireless solutions that provide improved service levels, reduced operating costs and added flexibility for Fortune 500 organizations.

JupiterResearch conducted a formal survey of consumers selected from E-Rewards, Inc consumer panel. Respondents included individuals that had stayed at a mid-range hotel over the past year and had used high-speed or wireless high-speed internet during their hotel stay. A total of 486 qualified individuals completed the survey.
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