Free Wi-Fi Matters Most in Hotel Booking Decisions

free wi-fi hotel bookings survey

by Bob Cotter

I am the type of traveler that checks out Wi-Fi connectivity for hotels before booking them. I run my own business, I am never fully free of work when I travel for leisure, so being online daily matters to me. Apparently, it also matters to most travelers, as a new survey by shows offering free Wi-Fi to guests weighs immensely in travelers’ decision to book their stay at a hotel or another.

The new survey by asked tourists to say what they value most from the perks hotels offer. Free Wi-Fi was indicated as a must by the majority of respondents, this amenity factoring greatly in their decision to make the booking or search for accommodation elsewhere. 38% of travelers said free Wi-FI is a must, another 35% saying it was something they wanted to see in more hotels, while 31% said they wanted it to become a standard for the hotel industry in 2012. 

“Given the explosion of mobile use in the past few years, it is no surprise that travelers are requiring free and fast Wi-Fi,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, director of public relations and social media for “Many guests never travel without their tablets, smartphones and laptops. It’s as intuitive as packing a toothbrush. Guests use these items in their rooms to plan activities for the next day. We are also seeing an uptick in mobile booking the day of a stay. Guests are creating their trips while on-the-go with Tonight’s Local Deals on our site and the mobile apps, which feature exclusive mobile deals – it is only natural that they’d want to stay connected while in their hotel rooms.”

Other gadget and tech related perks hotel guests said they were impressed with were the use of iPads for guest services, local information and personal use, followed by air purifiers/humidifiers, high-end coffee makers, iPod dock, massage chairs, video game systems, universal remote rooms and workout equipment/DVDs.

Technology might be the X factor, but certainly not the only one. Travelers love to get their favorite food and beverages at their hotel, they also are big fans of happy hours, wine tastings and pretty much anything involving free food and drinks. Not a big surprise here!

Luxury does not impress

While many hotels feel the need to boost luxury, high-end amenities, travelers are not really impressed by them. The added luxuries are “not worth the hype,” say 44% of female respondents and 30% of male respondents. The bathroom phone is the biggest waste on hotels’ part as it is the least love perk of all, 37% of travelers never touching it.

If they have to choose their hotel luxury items, women will go for designer toiletries, and men would like a fitness center and spa. The celebrity style amenities tourists seem to love are again having their kitchen filled with their favorite food and drinks, or having a private pool and hot tub in the room.

What’s your take on hotel amenities? Which do you prefer and which are a total waste of cash?