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Commentary: Hotel Guests Put Wi-Fi at Top of Amenity List

In today’s digitally connected world, guests’ desire for access to the Internet during their hotel stay continues to be strong. Whether it is to connect a mobile device or iPad to Wi-Fi or to connect a laptop to access work files or to download a television show or a movie, guests indicate their most important hotel amenity is wireless Internet access. This is the case in nearly every segment, with the exception of the mid-scale limited service segment, in which the most important amenity remains complimentary breakfast.

In the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, 77% of guests indicate the in-room Internet connection they use is Wi-Fi, compared with just 55% in 2007.

Approximately 55% of hotel guests in this year’s study stayed at a hotel whose brand advertises free Internet connection for all guests. Among brands that do not offer this service free to all guests at every property within their brand, fees range from US$4.95 for the entire guest stay to as much as $20 per night, in a 24-hour period.

Offering complimentary Internet access varies greatly by segment. While it is limited in the luxury and upscale segments, most brands in the midscale limited service and extended-stay segments include Internet access in their room rate.

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