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Small Hotels Still Not Aware of the Importance of Good Wi-Fi Services

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A survey by Wi Fi hotspot equipment vendor, Netgear has found that a lack of Wi Fi hotspots in hotels is damaging the hotel's prospects.

The survey found that three-quarters of small to medium sized hotels are convinced that their quality of service and facilities are far more important to customers than Wi-Fi. As many as 43 percent believe customers think poor or non-existent wireless access is a price worth paying for the experience on offer. However, the study claims that consumers disagree with these assumptions.

A third (33%) of leisure travellers say they would not return to a hotel that offered inadequate wireless access, and this number rises to two-thirds (67%) of business guests.

The study also shows that the boundaries between work and leisure time are blurring. People on a leisure break are now just as concerned about losing online contact with work (22 percent of young professionals aged under 24) as they are about missing updates from friends and social networks (29 percent of the same age group).

Some hospitality venues are starting to appreciate this, with 29 percent admitting poor Wi-Fi could result in guests complaining during a visit, 23 percent accepting it could lead to negative online reviews and 37 percent appreciating that it could mean the loss of repeat business.

These findings are reinforced by other recent surveys that show 31 percent of UK holiday-makers rate good internet access above a clean room or a brilliant hotel restaurant; and that one in three customers will stay longer, and one in five will pay more, at a venue that offers reliable Wi-Fi.

"Smaller hospitality and leisure venues must accept that for many people Wi-Fi is now a basic need," said Jonathan Hallatt, Regional Director UK, Ireland & South Africa. "Wherever we are, whether it's for work or pleasure, we immediately look for Wi-Fi access so we can stay in touch with our online world. People expect to be able to decide for themselves whether or not to connect, not to have that decision made for them. Failure to provide a reliable wireless network means customers will spend less money while they are with you, shorten their visit and never return. The financial impact of this cannot be ignored. Strong and consistent Wi-Fi should be seen as a revenue generator, not a cost."

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Tags: netgear  wi-fi  hotel  UK