Business travellers use wifi more, want more free access

Hotel News - 12/09/2011

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Business travellers are increasingly likely to make use of wifi, or wireless networks, to access the internet but an increasing percentage expect to get it for free, says a new report. The study, carried out by market research firm BDRC Continental, is based on a survey of 2,000 travellers.

The results have been published in the British Hotel Guest Survey, which has been published annually since 1982. The survey provides a detailed look into a wide range of aspects concerning the habits and thoughts of consumers, with the findings on wireless internet use providing a key piece of business intelligence of interest to hotels and airports.

BDRC Continental Research Director Tom Sanders pointed out that the use of wifi internet by both leisure and business travellers has expanded steadily over recent years, as shown by past studies. He added that the last 12 months saw the proportion of business travellers jump to 73 per cent, from the 56 per cent seen in last year’s survey.

As Tom Sanders points out, this increased activity is unsurprising, given the radical advances in mobile computing technology in the last few years. What is notable, however, is the clear trend amongst travellers who expect their wifi access to the internet to be available for free or at pricing consumers deem to be acceptible.

The survey found a critical pricing point for wifi internet access. Roughly 40 per cent of those surveyed said they would pay £5 to access the internet, while 39 per cent thought this was probably or definitely too pricey.

Raise the price to £15, however, and 79 per cent of respondents said they would refuse the service. Only nine per cent said they would pay this much for their wireless internet access.

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