SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:00

Agents boo...

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kangaroo Route

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kan…

Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:00

EVA Air is celebrating an increased service on its ‘Kangaroo Route’ by unveiling autumn offerings on flights from Heathrow to Brisbane, Australia with return fares from £642 per person.

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First …

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson and First Choice have announced the introduction of Vietnam to the winter 2017 programme.

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

As the country packs its bags and forms an orderly queue in crowded departure zones, the plethora of smartphones, tablets and laptops being carried and clutched highlights a deep need to spend the next week or two keeping in touch with home and the office just as if we were still there. 

For this is the age of the connected consumer.  And as travel surveys and online review sites repeatedly confirm, after the glorious views on offer (just) there’s only one thing connected consumers care about, and that’s Wi-Fi.

Whether venues like it or not, wireless internet access is now as essential to customers as electricity, or water in the bathroom – and more important even than a clean room or a brilliant hotel restaurant. Yet when we spoke to 150 small and medium-sized hospitality and leisure venues in the UK, a worrying number told us they believe guests secretly welcome a lack of connectivity (45%), that visitors need time offline to recharge (53%) and that no Wi-Fi or poor Wi-Fi is a price worth paying for the experience on offer (43%). In fact, 76% of the hospitality venues we spoke to believe that the quality of service and facilities available are far more important to customers than Wi-Fi.   

Unfortunately, few visitors agree with them. We asked 2,000 UK adults who had at some stage been confronted by poor or non-existent Wi-Fi while on holiday whether they had welcomed being offline for a while.  Just a quarter said yes.  

Young visitors, in particular, struggled with the lack of wireless access while staying at a hotel, both for personal communications (29% of those aged under 24) and for keeping in touch with work (22% of the same age group). This lack of mutual understanding could spell disaster for smaller venues. A third (33%) of leisure travellers said they would not return to a hotel that offered inadequate wireless access, and this number rose to two-thirds (67%) of business guests. Such a dramatic drop in return business could decimate room occupancy rates.

Then there’s the loss of revenue from on-site restaurants, bars and cafes as guests flock to more connected locations. And as if that isn’t enough, there’s the potential negative impact on brand reputation as increasingly vocal consumers turn to online review sites and social media networks to complain.  

So what can, or should, small and medium-sized hospitality and leisure venues do to address this mismatch? First of all it is worth noting that despite the fact that our research covered businesses from owner-managed through to 250-employee venues, the trends remained remarkably consistent across the board, suggesting the obstacles – both practical and perceived – may also be similar.  In practical terms, concerns around expense, time and lack of IT skills all feature, and all of these are incredibly easy to address.

There are easy-to-implement and cost-effective yet high-performing solutions on the market that do not required advanced IT skills, can be installed quickly using existing infrastructure and that deliver consistent wireless access across the venue.

For example, hotels can deploy in-room, wall-mounted wireless access points that provide fast and reliable download speeds. A central wireless controller can manage all these access points and provide a single view of how the network is performing so the venue can react quickly to any changes.  All of this can be unpacked and installed in minutes.

The best solutions are those designed and built around the needs and limitations of smaller firms, and with security integrated as standard. It is also worth choosing a solution that can adapt to future needs. Demands for bandwidth will only increase over time and it is already estimated that hotels should be thinking of a minimum capability of 1MB per room.

There are those who could, and in fact often do, argue that all this connectivity isn’t good for peace of mind and relaxation and that people should be able to disconnect from work and fully experience the richness of their new surroundings. All of that is true. But the choice about whether or not to connect should be with the customer, not the venue. And often it’s the lack of something that makes us want it all the more. Perhaps it’s time smaller hospitality and leisure venues joined their larger counterparts in really listening what to their customers are saying about Wi-Fi, and then acting on what they hear.

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