Visitors to Accor properties in the UK will now be able to surf the Internet for free, as the France-based hotel group is planning to scrap Wi-Fi charges at 500 of its properties worldwide.
The hotel company owns the Ibis, Mercure, Sofitel and Novotel hotel brands, and has opted for free Wi-Fi after a recent survey concluded that travellers decide on hotel room bookings based on availability of complimentary Wi-Fi services.
A survey conducted in January 2012 by Hotels.com, a US-based travel company and a part of the Expedia group, suggested that travellers voted for complimentary Wi-Fi as the hotel amenity that they most searched for, when asked to comment on their favourite in-room and hotel amenities.
While 38 percent of the respondents to the survey voted in favour of complimentary Wi-Fi being the amenity to decide their hotel stay, 35 percent reported complimentary Wi-Fi as an amenity that they wished was more available in hotels.
Taylor L Cole, APR, the director of public relations and social media for Hoetls.com, explained, ‘Given the explosion of mobile use in the past few years, it is no surprise that travellers are requiring free and fast Wi-Fi. Many guests never travel without their tablets, smart phones and laptops. It’s as intuitive as packing a toothbrush. Guests use these items in their rooms to plan activities for the next day.
We are also seeing an uptick in mobile booking the day of a stay. Guests are creating their trips while on-the-go with Tonight’s Local Deals on our site and the hotels.com mobile apps, which feature exclusive mobile deals – it is only natural that they’d want to stay connected while in their hotel rooms.’