Are hotels that charge for Wi-Fi “on the way out”?

Views of major hotel CEOs on guests’ demands for free Wi-Fi
Hotel news and online resource Skift runs an extract from its new e-book Future of the Guest Experience, which brings together 28 interviews with the world’s top hotel groups’ chief executives and marketing experts. In the extract they speak about the future of hotel Wi-Fi.
Guests, of course agree that hotel Wi-Fi should be as fast as possible and free of charge. So why isn’t it free in all hotels? Some quotes include:
Christopher Nassetta, Hilton Worldwide: “The big thing that we hear from customers and that we’re very actively trying to respond to is Wi-Fi charges. I think where that is headed, and we’ve tested it and rolled it out, is a tiered pricing plan.”
Stephen Holmes, Wyndham Worldwide: “Access to the Internet is something that is, basically, like oxygen. Millennials are very technologically savvy and very aware of what’s available out there. […] The one fee that I find, as a traveller, the most offensive is Internet fees. The majority of our hotels, at least domestically, don’t charge Internet fees. I think that Internet is something, like having the electricity or the water running, should be available.”
Wayne Goldberg, La Quinta Inns & Suites: “We changed our minimum bandwidth standards from a minimum of six megs of bandwidth to a minimum of 50 and then up to 100 megs of bandwidth. The guests have told us, and they have made it very clear, that they want to stream video and use multiple devices. In our segment, in our space, bandwidth and high-speed are always free and we have found a way to do this in a way that gives the guest what they expect.”
Sonia Cheng, Rosewood Hotel Group: “It is a global trend that Wi-Fi is going to be complementary and eventually all hotels will have to comp it.”
Carl Michel, Generator Hostels: “We have invested in upgrading our Wi-Fi across all of our hostels. It’s has to be fast, because people are streaming more, and it has to be free, obviously. We wouldn’t dream of charging for Wi-Fi and I think hotels that do are, frankly, on the way out.”
[pictured: Hilton Copenhagen Airport]

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