British travellers are becoming increasingly reliant on smart-phones and tablets while on a holiday, and paying extra for Wi-Fi is now one of the top ‘holiday hates,’ according to a survey.
The poll by Thistle Hotels, a part of glh, an owner-operator hotel company in London with over 4,000 hotel rooms, questioned 2,000 people to understand their holiday habits and interests.
According to the survey, an average holidaymaker spends an hour online each day of their holiday, catching up with friends and current affairs. Nearly one in 20 admitted they would rather spend time online, than with their partners on holiday. Consequently, having to pay for Wi-Fi now ranks alongside traditional holiday annoyances, such as rude hotel staff and rooms not being ready on arrival.
The research, undertaken to launch Thistle’s new faster, free internet in all its UK hotels, revealed that the top five ‘holiday hates’ are, rude hotel staff (69 percent), rooms not being ready (45 percent), paying for Wi-Fi (38 percent), limited buffet/menu selection (37 percent), and not being as close to holiday attractions as advertised (32 percent).
The survey also found that while booking a holiday, fast, free and reliable Wi-Fi is more important (51 percent), than having a swimming pool (49 percent), or even having a TV in the room (37 percent).
Mike DeNoma, glh. CEO said; ‘It’s crazy to think that in 2014 hotel chains are still charging up to £20 a day for Wi-Fi. Our research shows that free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi is very important to holidaymakers, which is why we’ve partnered with BT Wi-fi to upgrade our existing free internet access. No registrations, no limitations and no fine print, customers can now simply click and connect without fuss or fee; and most importantly they do not have to sign up to memberships or earn loyalty points.’
Of the main hotel brands in the UK, the Hilton Hotel group charges between £14 and £20 a day for WiFi, Premiere Inn charges £3 a day, or £10 a week, but does offer an initial 30 minutes of free WiFi; IHG charges £14 a day across its leading brands. It also charges £3 a day or £13 a day at ‘Crown Plaza’.
Marriott offers free WiFi in its reception areas, but charge £15 a day for access in rooms across its major brands and £4.95 an hour, or £12.99 a day, at Marriott Courtyard. Marriott Gold and Platinum members receive free WiFi throughout premises and access is limited to six devices. Free internet is also included in Premium rooms and suites. Travelodge charges £5 an hour, £10 a day, £20 a week, or £30 a month for WiFi access.