Scott Hampton, Powertec Telecommunications GM answers the Accommodation News Magazine's questions about what is happening in the Wi-Fi hospitality arena.
How the world has changed. For many of us, it doesn't seem too long ago that it was not even considered, but fast reliable guest internet is now often regarded as essential in any accommodation property.
Big, expensive hotels and motels could not consider being without it for their corporate guests and comfortably off international patrons who will often be used to excellent overseas standards, but even for holiday parks and backpackers, so pervasive is modern electronic communications technology that even they take a risk in being without it. It is these cheaper accommodation providers who depend more on younger guests for their custom and it is the youth market that is most heavily dependent on access to the internet.
There will still be the occasional older single guest or couple who has not been dragged in, but they are now a rare species, and becoming rarer all the time. Some smaller moteliers or similar accommodation providers will at least inwardly grumble at the cost, but if they wish to compete in today's market, they might feel they have little choice.
A question about the internet will now very often be the very first question a guest asks – before they even book.
So what is the situation here? Do Australian accommodation providers feel the same pressure as their contemporaries overseas? And what standards and service should they expect from those in the internet industry?