Should you have a paid or free Internet access at your facility?

Room sales are never the only source of income for accommodation industry. Hotels are full of various offers from which guests can benefit in return for an extra payment. However, we need to admit that such additional products and services undergo a change in our era.

For instance, telephones in the rooms used to be among additional sources of income for many facilities. However, upon penetration of mobile phones in our lives, guests are currently using the phones in the rooms only to call the reception, rather than for personal purposes. Moreover, while Pay TV’s were among profit items for hotels, it now is possible for guests to watch any film or TV series anytime on notebooks or tablets.

As those offers lose their attraction, paid Internet access has also become a controversial issue. Then which would be a proper decision for you? Providing free or paid Internet access at your facility?

Internet connection is of top priority

First of all, one should understand that one of the biggest expectations of guests from hotels is wireless Internet connection. According to research, Internet connection ranks higher than free breakfast among guests’ expectations. Therefore, it is indispensable for you to provide Internet connection by any means at your facility.

No high-speed Internet, no reservation

Furthermore, the speed of Internet connection matters for guests, as well. Many guests avoid facilities that do not provide Internet connection with a speed they would like to have. Unfortunately, only 1 out of every 5 hotels is competent in fulfilling this expectation. Research shows that a 4 star hotel loses up to 120 thousand dollar reservation opportunities only due to slowly connecting or frequently disconnecting Internet.

Paid or free?

The foregoing information reveals that in our era, it is obviously crucial for hotels to offer Internet access that should also be at high speed. Then, how can hotel managers benefit from the investments they make in high quality and high speed Internet connection?

According to research, “providing paid Internet access” is not the correct answer to this question. Recent statistics show that the rate of guests avoiding hotels without free Internet access corresponds up to 35 per cent, which means that you might actually be donating one thirds of your potential customers to your rivals while hoping to have an extra income from paid Internet access.

Besides, it is not difficult for guests to have 3G mobile Internet access that costs much less compared to the Internet fee of hotels. So it is not that easy to turn paid Internet access into a profit item. Therefore, introducing Internet as part of your free of charge services is highly likely to result in having more reservations.

In our era, one cannot deny that Internet is becoming widespread and indispensable for hotel guests. Another fact to be admitted is that the best way to reach customers easily and cost-efficiently is provision of Internet access. We suggest you to learn about HotelRunner if you would like to manage your digital marketing and sales channels and receive online reservations after arranging your website easily. Create an account now for free and be a witness yourself to the advantages of HotelRunner.

Cihan Coşkuntuncel

Director of Sales and Business Development

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