Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Wed August 26 2015

Study: Free Wi-Fi Important to Guests, but Hotel Offerings Lagging

Travel Technology | Ryan Rudnansky | August 26, 2015

Study: Free Wi-Fi Important to Guests, but Hotel Offerings Lagging

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

A recent study by Accenture highlights the disparity between the importance of free Wi-Fi and overall guest satisfaction with the offering.

The study, which surveyed more than 8,000 adults with at least one hotel stay within the last 12 months, shows that free in-room Wi-Fi is the second-most important factor to guests when evaluating a hotel stay.

Despite this, guests surveyed indicated that they are largely unhappy with hotels’ free Wi-Fi offerings. Guests collectively rated the importance of free in-room Wi-Fi 82 out of 100, but satisfaction ultimately came in at 64 out of 100.

And this isn’t just millennials talking. While the gap between the importance of free in-room Wi-Fi and millennial satisfaction is 17 percentage points (on average), the gap is even greater among Baby Boomers at 20 points.

Guests also ranked free property-wide Wi-Fi as the fourth-most important offering for a hotel, but the importance/satisfaction gap was once again significant. Guests, on average, rated the importance of free property-wide Wi-Fi 72 out of 100, but satisfaction was a cringe-worthy 55 out of 100.

Interestingly enough, Chinese guests, who are being heavily pursued by the hotel industry these days, appear to be relatively happy with free in-room Wi-Fi and free property-wide Wi-Fi at hotels. Among all nationalities surveyed, they represented the narrowest importance/satisfaction gap for in-room Wi-Fi and property-wide Wi-Fi with a 10-point difference.

For hotels that charge for Wi-Fi, it appears millennials represent the greatest opportunity. Of those surveyed, 38 percent of millennials indicated they are interested in pre-paying for in-room Wi-Fi, compared to 34 percent of Gen Xers and 26 percent of Baby Boomers.

When it comes to other hospitality technologies, advanced in-room technology hardware such as big screen TVs and docking stations was rated 47 out of 100 in terms of importance, while mobile check-in was rated 41 out of 100 (satisfaction was 46 and 30 respectively).



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