In-Room Wi-Fi Success Stories: Rules to Live by

By Jason Guest Account Manager, Americas, Aptilo Networks | November 13, 2011

Guest wireless is growing by leaps and bounds as today's guests are bringing laptops, tablets, smartphones and even wireless-enabled gaming devices -- all in one room, and sharing a single broadband connection. Additionally, revenue-drivers such as video-on-demand are being cannibalized by on-demand movie streaming services.

How can today's hotel keep up?

In-room wireless can be a huge opportunity to generate new revenue streams and cultivate loyalty. Tap into its full potential - and sidestep potential roadblocks - by following a few simple rules that will generate new revenue, cultivate customer loyalty and streamline your resources.

The "Capacity Crunch"

Bandwidth is a hot topic right now. At a recent hospitality-focused convention several speakers spoke about the "capacity crunch" that has descended upon the industry.

Why is this an issue now? Travelers of all types are bringing more wireless-enabled devices into hotels. Think of it: business travelers tote around a laptop, a smartphone and likely a tablet device for entertainment. Increasingly, these kinds of devices are Wi-Fi-enabled. Carriers appreciate Wi-Fi because it offloads some of the traffic from their data network, which is helping to drive the Wi-Fi ecosystem of products. Recreational travelers, too, bring laptops, smartphones, tablet devices and even gaming devices (such as the PSP, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360).

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.