The need for Canadians to always be “connected” has made the presence or absence of free wireless fidelity or Wi-Fi a major part of their decision to make hotel reservations. In a survey conducted by Hotels.com, access to the Internet through Wi-Fi technology is the first amenity that Canadians look for when booking a room. Of the total respondents asked through an online questionnaire, 70% said they needed connection to the World Wide Web.
People of Canadian descent are not the only ones who need to go online when staying in Victoria hotels downtown in British Columbia or other places in the world. American travelers also check the amenities list for standardized Wi-Fi. In another poll by Hotels.com, 34% of 8,600 people surveyed globally anchor their choice of hotel on this wireless networking innovation.
It is also not just about having Internet access in the hotel; the access must also be free-of-charge. In the United Kingdom, hotels suffered from lost sales when it charged as much as 15 pounds for Internet usage. Back in Canada, 89% of those surveyed said they will not pay for online access when holed up in a foreign luxury room.
Hotel.com’s Taylor Cole attributed the figuring of Wi-Fi as a top amenity to individuals’ assumption that hotels are an extension of their lives. “With an increase in airlines and airports offering free Wi-Fi, tech-savvy travelers expect the experience to continue upon arrival at their hotel,” he said. Cole added that Wi-Fi keeps business and relationships taken care of back home. “They are using their tablets, smartphones and laptops to plan activities, stay connected to family, and even order a delivery meal straight to their hotel room, so it’s no surprise they require free and fast Wi-Fi,” Cole said.
Aside from Wi-Fi, 31% of Canadians believe their hotel stay will be more pleasant if there is free breakfast. Respondents also identified bottled water as a necessity (43%). Emerging as favorite hotel treats are wine tasting and extended happy hours when expenses are on the house.
Hotels in downtown Victoria understand their clients’ need to constantly be online. The Parkside Hotel and Spa, for one, offers complimentary wireless Internet to accommodate guests who have brought their laptops and smartphones with them. Such hotels also try to squeeze in as many free amenities as possible for their clients through promotions and other marketing strategies, to ensure an enjoyable stay.