Wi-Fi is top hotel amenity – make secure Wi-Fi a competitive advantage

Why is wireless access and secure Wi-Fi so important to hotel guests? The business traveler depends on Wi-Fi to stay in touch with customers and the home office. Young people count on access to social media and gaming 24-7. We all expect it at coffee shops and fast-food restaurants. So it is only natural that hotel guests now take it for granted.

Wi-Fi the top hotel amenity

It wasn’t long ago that guests considered wireless access a perk and hotels charged for wireless to increase revenue. But those days are gone. Even budget motels advertise “Free Wi-Fi” on their marquee.  Guests expect free, fast, and stable Wi-Fi. According to a 2013 study by Forrester Research and Hotels.com, 90% of guests polled said they consider Wi-Fi the top hotel amenity. And 34% would consider it a ‘deal breaker” if the hotel did not offer free wireless.

Travelers can research hotels to check the expected speed and reliability of the network, before making reservations. There are dedicated websites that allow guests to do this. The Forrester/Hotels.com study reported that reviewers do not tout hotels for great Internet access but batter those whose Wi-Fi offerings didn’t meet their expectations.

Using Wi-Fi as a competitive advantage

This presents an opportunity for hotels to up the ante with their competitors. Business grade Wi-Fi can also put the consumer networks of AirBnB and VRBO locations to shame.

Guests want the same safe and convenient access they have at home:

  • Each family member can connect one or two devices at a time. Most hotel Wi-Fi has been designed for one device per room, woefully inadequate for today’s needs. No wonder the networks tend to be slow and unreliable.
  • Wi-Fi security is important.  The reputational damage that unsafe internet access can cause is substantial and difficult if not impossible for a business to recover from. A hotel or campsite certainly can’t claim to be family friendly if they allow porn or illegal websites to be accessed on their Wi-Fi network.
  • An unsafe network is worse that no Wi-Fi at all. Business travelers must feel  they can access sensitive data securely. In general, guests should not be hesitant to enter usernames and passwords for fear they will be stolen. 
  • Accessing a hotel network should not lead to a malware infection in guests’ devices; the hotel will be slammed on social networks if they are a source of malware.

How do you provide such a network?

Using WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi, a cloud based content filte