Guests and Bean Counters Agree: Wi-Fi Is Essential in Hospitality

Wi-Fi is the amenity most requested by hotel guests, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. On the other hand, the biggest complaint among business travelers is a poor Internet experience, according to Forrester Research. Specific complaints include everything from difficulty with mobile devices to a complicated login process to unreliable connections.

Forrester also points out that 34 percent of travelers refuse to stay at a hotel that doesn’t provide in-room Wi-Fi, and they’ll fork over as much as $10 per day for high-quality wireless Internet access.

Yes, wireless access is that important, not only in hotel rooms but in conference rooms and event facilities, where secure Wi-Fi is essential during corporate meetings and conferences. The lack of an easy-to-use, reliable wireless LAN can and does put a dent in revenue, thanks to lost bookings and event cancellations.

Recognizing these facts, the Hilton Hotel in Philadelphia enlisted IPC Technologies to expand its wireless network to meeting rooms and event facilities throughout the property. This corporate and social facility is utilizing a Ruckus wireless solution implemented by IPC Technologies to meet the demands of its guests while maintaining network security and performance.

Aside from meeting basic customer demands, hospitality venues that have a robust WLAN can take advantage of opportunities to boost revenue by becoming more efficient, enabling better communication with both staff and guests, and offering innovative services.

Consider how a reliable WLAN can be used in a hotel setting:

  • Room service orders can be taken anywhere via mobile devices and automatically transmitted to the kitchen to improve accuracy and delivery times.
  • Self-service smartphone applications can be used to accept reservations for restaurants, spas and other hotel facilities and services. Instead of returning to their rooms, guests can place orders for food and drinks from locations throughout the hotel, such as a conference room or pool, by utilizing wireless self-service kiosks.
  • Wireless point-of-sale devices improve efficiency and convenience by bringing the transaction to the guest. Similarly, guests can be checked in and out using mobile devices to reduce lines and pressure on the front desk.
  • Digital signage can be strategically placed throughout the hotel to display menus, promotions, announcements or instructions. This can improve customer engagement, sales and brand awareness.
  • Security services can be enhanced when the WLAN is integrated with sensors and building automation, allowing for faster communication and response to potential security issues.
  • Location-based services and asset-tracking applications can monitor and instantly locate everything from meeting and conference room technology to laundry items using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and bar codes.
  • Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) enables communication with staff who are constantly moving throughout the property, including housekeeping and room service staff, valets and managers. A common replacement for two-way radios, this mobile voice communications application also provides employees with IP phone functions and messaging features.

No longer a nice-to-have amenity, Wi-Fi is now a must in the hospitality industry. Not only do guests demand it, but hospitality venues that aren’t fully leveraging a WLAN solution are likely leaving money on the table. If you haven’t yet implemented Wi-Fi, or your existing WLAN isn’t providing the performance and coverage your guests demand, IPC Technologies can design and implement a robust wireless solution.

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