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When Will Full Service Hotels Offer Free WiFi Service?

The question of whether hotels should offer free Internet service has been under debate between consumers and hoteliers for years. Hoteliers invest money in building the infrastructure for Internet. It seems reasonable that they charge guests Internet services. USA Today raised this question to us again. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/hotelcheckin/post/2010/01/marriott-hilton-sheraton-hotels-giving-away-internet-service-to-a-special-few/1

In today’s business, it does not matter if hoteliers’ investments have been paid off or not over the years; what really matters is what hotel guests want. According to the statistics released by the World Bank, almost 75% of the U.S. populations are Internet users. In addition, there are millions of iPhone or smart phone subscribers. Hasn’t Internet become part of our lives? Today, many quick-service restaurants and coffee shops offer free WiFi service to customers. Restaurants with free WiFi service may appeal to more Internet users. While customers spend time surfing the Internet, they will very like spend more money in the location for drink and/or food. Couple days ago, McDonald began offering free WiFi to its customers. I think McDonald has made a very smart move, and I believe more and more restaurants will offer free WiFi service to the public. http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2010/01/18/2010-01-18_mcdonalds_begins_offering_free_wifi_with_your_fries_and_big_mac.html

Actually, free Internet service is not new to the guests staying in limited service hotels. For years, their guests have been enjoying free breakfast and free WiFi service. I have to admit that full service, luxury, or upper up-scale hotels have different target market. People in this market might not care if they have to pay $10 or $20 extra a day for the Internet service. However, sooner or later, when Internet means a “must-have” service to everyone, the age of free Internet service will come.

(Picture was copied from www.mcdonalds.co.uk/.../whats-on-wifi.shtml)

Comments

  1. In this day and age, wifi internet to some is as necessary as having a bed in the room. There are usually many things in a hotel room that people will not necessarily use yet every hotel room has them, e.g. a television, refrigerator, and telephone. You are not directly charged for the use of these objects and not everyone uses them when they stay in the hotel room yet these objects are a part of the luxuries that are included in hotel rooms as a means to justify the price the hotel is charging for the stay. I feel the internet should and will slowly overtime become one of those integral “objects.” Hotels should include the wifi in the price of the bill if they want, customers have so many choices these days in terms of prices and brands of hotels to suit their needs and if they didn’t want wifi they are still going to get it, just like a guest who may not need a television, a television will still appear in their room. Wifi is just another commodity and guests of luxury and business hotels expect it to be free since they are already paying a comparatively higher price for their stay.

    Lorenz

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here is an update of this news: Business travelers winning battle for free hotel Internet access (01/25/2010) --- http://www.usatoday.com/travel/hotels/2010-01-25-hotelwifi25_ST_N.htm

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marriott, Starwood, and Hyatt now offer free Internet service to elite members.

    http://hotel-online.com/News/PR2010_1st/Mar10_FreeInternet.html

    ReplyDelete

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