The Impact of the iPad on Hotel Owners and Operators
By David Garrison Chief Executive Officer, iBAHN | January 22, 2012
Challenges with the New Tech-Savvy Traveler
New mobile devices meant to simplify life also create new challenges for the hospitality industry. For example, the latest must-have mobile device, the iPad, comes with bandwidth requirements that have significantly impacted hotels providing free Wi-Fi. Point of fact: iPad video traffic is more than 600,000 times more data intensive than equivalent text. If a hotel's bandwidth is "hogged" by a few iPad users, the remaining guests will have a poor Internet experience.
Additionally, 30% of travelers said they are likely to carry only a tablet device while traveling, versus also bringing along a laptop. 25 million iPads have already sold to-date, making it the fastest selling consumer electronics device in history. This makes it obvious that hoteliers are going to need to step up to the enhanced-bandwidth plate and reconsider the concept of free Wi-Fi.
So how do hotels deal with this trend? How can costs and guest expectations be managed? And more importantly, how can the burgeoning iPad presence actually translate to increased revenues for hotels around the globe? A few points to consider:
Why should hoteliers care?
The average hotel's Wi-Fi system is already overloaded. Some 60% of surveyed travelers in America, Europe and Australia indi¬cate that they already have had a poor downloading experience in a hotel because the system was slow.