The demand for free Wi-Fi has not faded in 2013 – according to this recent article by Hotels.com it has again topped the list of must-have amenities for both leisure and business travelers. Surpassing free parking and complimentary breakfast, the demand for free Wi-Fi speaks to the changing needs of your guests; they want to be connected.
The good news is you can provide free Internet access while also making money. Here are our top 4 recommendations for generating revenue with free Wi-Fi:
- Tier Your Bandwidth: offer the option to purchase bandwidth plans that are faster than the free Wi-Fi. Many of the major brands, as well as boutique hotels (who pioneered free Internet in the early 2000s), have instigated tiered bandwidth plans. Even HotelChatter, a big proponent of free Wi-Fi, deemed this a fair practice in its 2012 Wi-Fi Report.
- Easy In-Session Bandwidth Upgrades: many guests may decide during a free session that they want to stream a television show, or attend a webinar online, which requires a faster Internet connection. According to iPass, 35% of business travelers would pay for a faster connection even when a free network is available, so they can work more efficiently.
- Charge for Conference Internet Use: even if you offer free Wi-Fi in other parts of your hotel, charging for Internet usage at conferences and meetings can yield high-margins as well as guest satisfaction. You need to be able to adapt quickly to changing needs of conference/event managers; this is where Conference Management Software can be a major asset.
- Promote Other For-Pay Amenities: use your guest Internet login screen to promote revenue-generating amenities like the spa or restaurant. Most of your guests connect multiple devices several times throughout the day – take advantage of it!
Using software, like Eleven, to manage all the aspects of your guest network is the key to successfully implementing any of the 4 options listed above.
For more on this topic, check out our Generating Revenue from Free Wi-Fi blog posts.
How well does HSIA at your hotel meet your guests’ expectations?