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 filtering solution for your Wi-Fi environment. It provides a secure setting for Wi-Fi guests to browse online by preventing exposure to inappropriate content and protecting the integrity of the network by blocking malware. It takes care of all the complexities of content filtering and security while presenting a logical interface that requires no training. It requires NO software installation and NO need for technical expertise to set up or manage customer accounts – it’s that simple. You can create new accounts easily and manage any number of hotel locations.
Secure Wi-Fi = faster Wi-Fi
Filtering for malware and ads not only protects the hotel network, it also increases network speed by reducing the amount of data that is transmitted. With WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi, web access policy can be set for each Wi-Fi access point. This can be a competitive advantage for hotels that cater to families. Parents can be confident that their children are browsing the web in a protected environment.
What about offering levels of Wi-Fi access to hotel guests?
Filtering affords hotels the opportunity to introduce tiered Wi-Fi services. For example, “minimal Wi-Fi” for email access only could be free. Beyond this, non-video internet access could be available at a nominal charge or perhaps free for members of the hotel's loyalty program. A premium service with premium prices could be created for guests that want to stream Netflix or other streaming services.
Help your guests use Wi-Fi:
- Make sure that your guests know the name of your Wi-Fi network: Normally, multiple wireless networks are available near a hotel. Cybercriminals set up “rogue networks” with names similar to that of the hotel’s Wi-Fi network, hoping that guests will join their network and divulge usernames and passwords or proprietary business information.
- Offer a secure login page for signing on: The "https://" prefix ensures the login page is encrypted to protect guests’ personal information.
Since guests rate Wi-Fi as the top hotel amenity, hotel managers would do well to use it to gain competitive advantage for their business.
Are you a hotel that wants to discuss the opportunity that web filtering offers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.