Hotel Owners: Take Note
We are part of a new generation of travelers.
Our work and our lives (our income – which allows us to pay you) are almost 100% dependent on Internet access.
We are part of a rapidly growing group of travelers.
We don’t have to have access all the time.
But we’re not “on vacation” either.
And if you say you have good Internet in your marketing, we will count on it to be there when we arrive.
Here’s how you can test how fast or slow your Internet is.
Connect to http://www.speedtest.net
Run a test.
Post your results when you post information about your rental.
You may think that this information is unimportant.
But for us, and travelers like us, having a good Internet connection is crucial.
Think about it this way:
If you don’t show up to a job, how many days will you have a job?
If we show up at your place and there is no Internet connection, we could lose portions of our work, our means of earning income.
A high-speed (fast as is possible in your area), reliable Internet connection is infinitely more important to us than a Television.
A high-speed, reliable Internet connection is infinitely more important to us than a stereo or DVD player.
A high-speed, reliable Internet connection is more important to us than a comfortable bed.
A good, reliable Internet connection is more important to us than air conditioning, though we may not stay with you in the middle of summer in a hot place if you don’t have A/C.
A good, reliable Internet connection we can use from our room (or at least in a *quiet* area) will cause us to stay at your place longer.
We may be in the minority, but we are part of a growing minority of travelers who want to be your guests.
They want to come and stay with you at your hotel.
They have the freedom and flexibility to stay with you longer than the average tourist, and they know things about remote working (and they network with other people like themselves) that could help prosper your business even further.
For this type of traveler, this point is crucial: If you say you have a good Internet connection, make sure the reality you provide meets the expectation you are creating. You create their expectations by the words and representations you use in your marketing before they arrive at your place.
If they arrive, and you’ve said you have great Internet, but it turns out the Internet is sub-par (not able to make a phone call using Skype, or not able to upload pictures, or not able to watch video without significant delays), they will be disappointed.
Perhaps they will be disappointed enough to leave early, even if everything else about your place is wonderful.
They may not tell you that they are checking out early because they are frustrated with your Internet connection, but you might want to ask them.
What brought this on:
In many of the places we’ve been, in the countries we’ve been in, high speed Internet is relatively easily accessible and (in theory) unlimited.
But that’s not been our experience in many of the hotels/apartments/hostels where we have stayed.
The hotel owners have only paid for the slower connection speed (old modem speeds of 50k/sec. down, 30k/sec. up are a plan that people can choose in many countries). While choosing this slow plan, they say in their advertising they have “high-speed” Internet.
In 5 weeks of travel in India, I spent at least two 8 hour days on phones, in taxis, on buses, in tuk-tuks, and walking, to get Internet access (after arriving at hotels/B’n’Bs/Hostels where they simply didn’t have what they said they would have).
Add to this the time from Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and all together, 4-5 days of the last 4 months (as well as in excess of $150), have been spent just attempting to get to and from places to get Internet access.
This doesn’t count the money spent on the Internet access itself (which was supposed to be included with the room).
That’s a really sad statement considering the time that went into finding places and asking lots of questions before we showed up, to make sure that we only rented at places which said their high-speed Internet was “fast”.
It may sound like I’m whining.
It’s not whining at all.
These are hotels that are marketing their services to tourists, and this post is intended to help.
If you run a BnB/Hotel/Hostel, or know someone who does, run a check on your hotel’s Internet connection at http://www.speedtest.net, and post the results in your marketing.
(If your Internet connection is so slow that SpeedTest.net won’t even load, post that too.)
It’s important that you have features and amenities. SpeedTest.net gives you one way to test the quality of one of your amenities that you may not know that much about, but that might be crucial to people coming to stay at your hotel or guest house.
There are more people like us traveling around than you might think. Helping people like us decide (before we come to stay with you) whether or not it will be a good fit will save everyone time and money.