Forget those free continental breakfasts or heated pools, free Wi-Fi the most demanded amenity by today’s travelers and for good reason. Business travelers, families and individuals love to check their emails and surf the web, so having that free Wi-Fi available for their tablets and laptops is a big deal.
Travel app and website, Hipmunk, took a look at wifi at hotels in its latest study. It found that only 70 percent of U.S. hotels offer free Wi-Fi, with another 27 percent not offering Wi-Fi at all. That seems high to me and they also discovered that 3 percent of hotels still offer Wi-Fi for a fee. Want to know about some of Hipmunk’s surprising findings when it comes to hotel Wi-Fi? Here we go:
Free wifi appears to be plentiful in the state of Florida. Florida attracts a ton of family vacation travel, but also a lot of business travel. The two cities with the highest-percentage of hotels with free Wi-Fi are Ft. Myers Beach, with 88% and Palm Coast with 86%. With percentages like this, travelers to these two locales can feel confident they will have free Wi-Fi in their room or on property. California cities, Wawona and Irving also have over 80% of their hotels offering free Wi-Fi.
It’s a bit disheartening to see that fancy and upscale hotels are more likely to charge for Wi-Fi. 20% of five star hotels charge for Wi-Fi and just just 5% of one-star hotels do. This begs the question, would you stay in a one of two-star hotel just to get free Wi-Fi? It’s a tough decision and this is where price might come into play. it might also depend on whether you are a business or leisure traveler.
In addition to free Wi-Fi, Hipmunk says it’s best when it’s fast.
“Our research tells us that travelers not only want Wi-Fi, but they want free and fast Wi-Fi. And they want it everywhere – on their flights, in their hotel rooms, and in transition areas like lobbies or airport terminals. 41% percent of the Hipmunk users we surveyed said free, fast Wi-Fi is their favorite hotel perk. That percentage is consistent across age ranges, which leads us to believe that Wi-Fi has become an integral part of every stage of the travel experience for consumers of all ages and preferences,” Liz Davidoff, Senior PR Manager for Hipmunk.
In short, travelers want the same comforts they get at home, while they are on the road. This not only includes coffee in their rooms, but also plenty of outlets, so they can plug in all of their devices and also free Wi-Fi.