Guest Wi-Fi in the Cloud for Hotels

By Johan Terve Vice President Marketing, Aptilo Networks | January 14, 2018

According to TripAdvisor's TripBarometer 2016, some 88% of hoteliers provide free Wi-Fi. For them the new currency is customer loyalty, customer insights and engagement. This means that the most crucial functions of your guest Wi-Fi service go far beyond the Wi-Fi technology as such.

Did you know that 65% of hotel guests connect to Wi-Fi within seven minutes of arrival? This is just how addicted we are, according to a survey done by the English hotelier Roomzzz. And, nine out of ten hotel guests expect the Wi-Fi to be free.

So, it is no longer enough to only provide free Wi-Fi to your guests. The Wi-Fi has to be great. Most people are spoiled with blisteringly fast Wi-Fi in their homes. Hoteliers have to deliver an excellent home-away-from-home experience. But, do they? According to Aptilo's guest Wi-Fi survey, only 35% of guests are satisfied with the Wi-Fi service in hotels globally (US 33% and Europe 44%). There is room for improvement.

More than half of your potential guests read online reviews and 80% of them say they would never return if they had a bad technology experience. Wi-Fi has become a hotel's #1 strategic asset.

The foundation of a good guest Wi-Fi service is a well-planned and high-performance Wi-Fi network with sufficient capacity to handle the massive amounts of traffic your guests will require to access the internet. Given that 25% of your guests ignore regular TV (linear broadcast) and use Wi-Fi instead to stream their favorite shows, this backhaul capacity can never be too high.

Is it impossible to achieve a respectable return on your investment (ROI) when delivering a high-quality guest Wi-Fi service for free? Yes, if you focus only on the Wi-Fi technology. Then Wi-Fi will be nothing but a necessary cost. What you need is to go beyond the technology focus and reap all the indirect benefits a guest Wi-Fi service brings with better customer loyalty, accurate customer insights and strong engagement.

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Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.