It is possibly one of the most fiercely debated topics in (consumer) travel technology – should consumers be entitled to free wifi and web access in hotels? And it now turns out that travellers are becoming more discerning about the destinations they are likely to visit, based on the quality of mobile coverage.
A study of 500 travellers (52% from Western Europe, 16% Northern Europe, 13% Southern Europe, 17% Middle East) found that 86% now expect wifi connections to be made freely available in hotels. Amazingly, over a third (37%) say that good mobile coverage is important when choosing a destination, although the study doesn’t explain how consumers are checking such requirements.
Elsewhere in the study (commissioned by Brocade), over half admitted to using their mobile devices to check on work emails during a leisure trip – hardly surprising in some respects given that 95% of people will take a mobile phone away with them on holiday. Pressure is increasing on hotels to loosen their policies over tariffs for wifi services, although property owners and others still claim costs in large hotels are often prohibitive.
Interestingly, live streaming appears to be becoming an increasingly important consideration, with a third claiming they will attempt to watch content from the London 2012 Olympics if it coincides with a trip.
Brocade VP and CMO, John McHugh, says:
“There is significant blurring between personal time and work time in modern society, with the consumerisation of IT and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) working policies leading many people to rely on smartphones and tablet devices around the clock, wherever they may be and whatever they may be doing.”