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.
I’m not getting it, Jonathan & Carrie… how important is internet access? Especially if these hotels SAY they have a good connection? Just wondering! 😉
It’s no big deal… really… just hugely super important… in case you couldn’t tell from this long post.
Pretty much beating the dead horse at this point, huh?
I am a manager at one of the mid-scale hotels in Illinois. On average we have 40 to 50 guests connected to hotel wireless network, speeds averaging between 4 to 6 Mbps at any corner of the hotel(no lag for web browsing and average buffering rate for you tube videos based on my tests at least 5 to 8 times a week). The business center computer speed averages up to 15 to 17 Mbps on an above average usage day. What kind of experiences do you have regarding hotel wireless connections.
*Came across your blog on a random hotel related google search.
Patrick, that is fantastic! Those speeds are great. We’ve been in Southeast Asia which has given us HUGE troubles for the Internet really no matter where we’ve been. Even in the US, we’ve had some troubles showing up places and trying to connect, but the biggest problems have been speeds of the connections all over southeast Asia.
HI, really interested in your posts – I stay at Radissons and Marriotts quite a bit in the US, mostly in Cleveleand area, and have yet to find a connection speed upstream greater than 0.1 mbps. Problem is I rely on a better connection speed than this to make affordable skype calls home to New Zealand. No problems ever in Europe (just very expensive) – wondered if it was a general US hotel policy to cap speed to 0.1? Would really love to find a chain that guarantees something in excess of 1.0 – any thoughts – specially round CLE?
Hey Charlotte! Thanks for your compliments and interest in the posts.
Where is CLE?
I don’t think there’s any sort of policy to cap at .1, especially since bills in the US for Internet aren’t usually charged by usage.
As far as a chain what even lists their connection speeds, I’m hard pressed to find one…
Would you have any recommendations for smaller BnB type hotels far as how they can make connections for guests more simple? Anything you’ve learned from your experience?
Our implementation was simple, 1 main router (Linksys), 1 24-port Ethernet switch(Linksys) and 9 access points(Engenius ECB-3500). Access points are always broadcasting but main router is not accessible on wireless. No fancy log-in splash pages, or room numbered requirement to get on the wifi. We didn’t want to minimize or throttle speed per IP as we get business clients. so there is ever barely wifi abuse.
Things to make sure
-Building material (cement, wood, ectt)
-accessibility (Open vs Password protected, doesn’t matter since its simple to set up)
-Never buy routers/access points made for home (http://www.engenius.com are top quality business products)
-You only need 1 router and rest APs.
I am sorry, i mean to provide this link http://www.engeniustech.com/
This is really helpful information. I hope any other hotel owner who comes across this post scrolls down to read your comments in the post.
What hotel do you work with?
Thanks again for your helpful comments!
I work for Baymont Inn in Decatur, IL. I have just started to make our presence on web beside the main company website. Visit us at http://www.baymontdecatur.com the website is still in progress. I made the website simple, and text-based only since its easier on loading time and mobile phone friendly. give me a suggestion or two if you have in any to improve.
The site looks great! The only suggestion I would have is to move the site onto the content management system WordPress. WordPress is a good standard for content management… easy to set up, easy to use, and works with most operating systems, including mobile.
I am at the Motel 6 in Tumwater WA..This place charges $3.25 per day and the speed here is as follows…..Ping Tacoma WA 1240 download speed 0.21 and upload speed didn’t even register! This is sad..I have NEVER seen internet speeds this bad ( We are OTR truck drivers and spend 250 nights a year in “HOTELS” ) It should be illegal to charge for this sad speed!!
If not illegal, it should certainly be standard policy to post the actual speed (and not just say “high speed” – which can mean anything) if they charge extra for an Internet connection. At least then you can have an idea in advance if it’s worth paying for or not. Did it improve at all in your time there?
Nope never got any better …just worse…the speed the day I left was 0.09..this is truly a ripoff for travelers!!!
YES! YES! YES! THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! OMG YES! Hotel, BnB Owners, Hostel owners please please take this post above (the article) seriously. Today is Aug. 13, 2013 and I am STUCK in Thousand Oaks, California at a La Quinta Hotel with decent Internet. My clients need me to have fast Internet access. No fast Internet access for me, no clients for me, no money for me, no money to travel for you. Thank you to all the land owners, hotels, hostels, motels and bnb’s that take the post above seriously. I will no longer book a hotel, hostel, bnb, unless I read from ‘multiple other users’ the internet was fast and reliable. My travel money depends on it. THANK YOU!!!!
Hey Steve! Thanks for your comment and for your emphatic agreement. Internet speeds are so important for travelers. We rely on hotels to be our home away from home, and the Internet is phone, business, communication with family via email and Facebook, etc… Internet speed is crucial. What are the slowest Internet speeds you’ve encountered?