Many of today’s travelers bring at least three mobile devices and they expect to be able to use all of them in their hotel rooms.
In addition to wanting high-speed Internet access, this type of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) traveler wants to do things like use a dynamic mobile app for ordering a meal or last-minute service as they are en route to their hotel – so it’s delivered to their room as soon as they check-in. And they need superior, fast service for all their devices.
To meet this need, on the most basic level, hotels not only have to provide superior Internet access, but also optimize their websites for viewing across all platforms.
However, many hotels are not there yet. Road warrior, Timothy O’Neil-Dunne says he runs across the following challenges when it comes to using his devices in many hotels:
- Confused network set up – for example, different SSIDs. A large percentage of hotels are inconsistent in how they set up their networking and as a result roaming inside a property is challenging.
- Inconsistent sign up/sign in configurations even within the same property.
- Inadequate infrastructure – either too few accesses points or not enough bandwidth, frequently both.
- When free WiFi is offered, it is very poor, with access at crippled speeds and there are often too many areas without WiFi.
- Too many blank spots, often in the rooms where its offered.
BYOD was also a hot topic at the Hospitality Investment World Indonesia, where Chris Gribble, vice president and general manager of Asia-Pacific and Middle East hospitality solutions, Infor Hospitality, said:
“Get your website strategy right. You need to develop web pages that will run on each device very easily. Understand that when you create your website, you want to run it on smartphones as well because the use of the three devices will depend on when and where we want to use them.”
It should also be noted that budget brands are making the investment in free and quality Wi-Fi access, which has been bringing guests back again, according to Gribble.
We believe that hotels need to take the necessary steps to fortify their infrastructure and allow for secure access across any device. Just as we highlighted the new category of guest called the ‘invisible traveler,’ hoteliers can implement the right strategies to increase brand loyalty with these more technologically savvy travelers.