We’re living in a digital age. I don’t know anyone without a smartphone and the day the BT van is spotted on our street, we hold our breath and pray the Wi-Fi isn’t about to go down. Throughout my travels I’ve never been faced with a black-out (no internet) as fortunately everywhere I have stayed has some sort of Wi-Fi-connect. This begs the question, how important is Wi-Fi now when people are choosing where to travel?
I’ve teamed up with KBR, business WiFi providers, to investigate whether free internet connection has become one of the main factors when searching for a hotel room during travelling. And I can tell you now the stats are surprising.
Wi-Fi has a huge part to play before we travellers even set foot on a plane. When it comes to the millennial demographic, 46% book travel through a smartphone which means websites must be optimized for mobile and responsive within seconds or else they risk losing that sale.
Another crazy statistic highlights how influential social media is on our choice of holiday. 87% of millennials, myself included, consult social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook before choosing their holiday destination. If it doesn’t look good on Instagram, then people aren’t willing to go there.
There are two main types of travellers, business travellers and leisure travellers and research by Statista has delved deep into the statistics surrounding their relationship with the internet.
For some of us travel is a part of our job. Sadly this isn’t me, but for business travellers, it’s not all sightseeing and sunny beaches but more breakfast meetings and last minute flights. For business travellers, 49% looked for free Wi-Fi over any other feature. This was closely followed by free breakfast (priorities) and then proximity to transport and shops. This makes complete sense with so much business conducted online a free-connection is vital for a productive trip
Leisure travellers seemed to take a more relaxed approach to free-wifi with only 25% of them prioritizing it. 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.
A London hotel carried out research for themselves to find out what was more important — location or an internet connection. When guests were asked, 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!
Clearly, internet access isn’t the be all and end all of our holidays but still something we rely on with 65% of guests logging onto the Wi-Fi within seven minutes of arrival.
So what does it all mean?
Free-Wi-Fi is absolutely a key consideration for a large proportion of travellers and hotels are taking note, with 56% of hotels prioritizing in-room technology in their next budget.
With so much of our lives existing over the internet; from communication to finances and leisure, it’s no wonder that the internet takes such a priority when leaving our comfort zone of home and jetting off to somewhere new.
I for one most definitely priorities free internet, closely followed by a free breakfast and the temperature.
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