Why are some hotels still charging for WiFi?

Hotels losing revenue

Big, luxury hotels often made a lot of their revenue from two things: In room phones and pay per view. The year is 2017 and everyone has a phone in their pocket, negating the need for people to use the, often expensive, hotel room phones. Pay per view is what it is, you pay for what you view. Guests, if given the option, would clearly opt for the cheaper and perhaps more enjoyable streaming option rather than pay hotel prices.

Many of the big hotels, like Marriot and Hilton, are franchised based. Therefore, it is often down to the manager of the individual franchise to supply the WiFi Network and the decision of paid vs free Internet for guests. This often results in the individual hotels having to use their own budget to install and maintain the WiFi. Given the status of some of these hotels, they will want to supply their customers with a high-quality service, ensuring they don’t generate any negative TripAdvisor reviews, highlighting a poor WiFi service, something which can be very damaging. 73% of American’s say it’s very important to have WiFi in their daily lives and 38% of those say no WiFi would make them look else-where for somewhere to stay.

WLAN investments can be very costly

WiFi has become a staple in our everyday lives. The average person checks their device up to 85 times a day and spends a total of five hours browsing the web and using apps, so it’s safe to say most of us are reliant on our smart devices.

After a long day, we usually come home and spend some time catching up with our friends on Facebook, Skyping or Facetiming with relatives who live far away. Additionally, when we are at home and connected to our personal home WiFi network, it is possible for all of our devices to see and talk to each other, making it possible to stream content to their smart TV, or print a document on a wireless printer. Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could to do the same in a hotel and for free?  Unfortunately, this is not always the case and it’s often the luxury hotel brands that charge the most.

To maintain a wireless network with adequate bandwidth and complete WiFi coverage can be costly, disruptive, and may take a lot of effort to maintain and support, especially if not done correctly! It is often the view that to have a robust network installed, hotel managers would have to either take a hit on their profits or recoup some of the WLAN investment by charging guests a fee. Additionally, with guests demanding more from their WiFi for streaming and personal area networking, there is a potential for costs to rise with more frequent network upgrades required.

What other options are there?

Large hotels and hotel chains could instead take advantage of the guest WiFi tools. A suite of features designed  to increase direct bookings by promoting offers via landing pages, engaging with guests to promote paid services (such as spa packages and the hotel bar), and by directing users to loyalty schemes with the reward of increased bandwidth. Just by having a simple means of directing WiFi users to a direct booking page, or loyalty sign up portal could have huge impacts on profit margins. Whilst guest are on property, there is no better way of promoting the hotel’s other paid services than by delivering messages directly to the guest’s handset or other devices as they surf the net. This is exactly how Injection Jets work. Small unobtrusive menus or banners appear in the browser, serving as a gentle reminder.

The Genisys Solution

The Genisys management platform allows hoteliers to provide their guests secure, reliable WiFi that is easy manage and completely customisable. It allows hotels to offer free WiFi with options to provide free, easy to use guest WiFi with options to charge for premium packages if they so wish. For example, if a guest simply wanted to check their emails or browse a social media site then they could do so. The hotel can charge for additional time online or increased bandwidth. However, this is a trend that we think will become less and less. What better way to reward your guest than with the best possible service right out of the blocks?

Personal Area Networks are our latest service which allows each guest to have their own private WiFi network that follows them from hotel to hotel no matter where they travel. This unique solution opens possibilities for guests to securely connect to other hotel and personal devices that were unreachable on traditional guest WiFi networks.

After their first login, guests can choose their own personal SSID that they can connect to any hotel in the group. Once connected to the in-room WiFi, the Personal Area Network is deployed providing the guest with the ability to interact with other hotel devices such as the smart TV. Just like at home, guests can now stream their personal content, such as movies, or their holiday snaps, to the biggest screen in the room. Furthermore, Personal Area Network’s don’t require an Access Point installed in every room which would potentially decrease installation costs for the hotel as a whole.

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