WILTON, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research from the leading online research and survey technology provider, Toluna, has today revealed that in-room technology is one of the top priorities for travelers booking a hotel, with access to WiFi viewed as more essential than the availability of relaxation facilities such as a swimming pool or spa.
The survey, which questioned a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers in April 2015, aimed to uncover the behavior and requirements of consumers booking a vacation, such as expectations of their hotel facilities and preferred methods of booking. A comparative study was carried out in the U.K.
The availability of WiFi emerged from the survey as one of the top priorities for U.S. travelers, with over seven in ten (71%) stating that they expect this as standard when booking a hotel. The only feature ranked higher than WiFi access was the most basic of creature comforts – a comfortable bed – which was stated as a standard expectation by almost three-quarters of consumers (74%). Despite WiFi being a top priority, travellers don’t feel they should pay extra to get connected, with almost a third (32%) with a quarter (25%) naming free WiFi as an important facility that is often not included in their package.
WiFi wasn’t the only in-room technology to rank highly on U.S. travelers’ list of expectations, with seven in ten (69%) requiring cable TV as standard. This showed a marked difference to the U.K. where only two-fifths (42%) of respondents had the same expectation. These in-room technology facilities ranked higher than leisure and relaxation facilities such as an indoor pool (35%), an outdoor pool (36%) and access to the beach (26%). In fact, when asked what facilities are often provided that they don’t require, a significant number of respondents mentioned fitness centers (33%) and spas (41%).
The use of technology in relation to vacations begins long before we reach the hotel itself. Almost three-quarters (74%) of consumers check online review sites before they book their trip, and three-fifths (61%) reserve online, making this the most common way to book a vacation. Travel agents are largely a thing of the past with only 4% of U.S. travelers considering using a travel agent, in contrast to 9% in the U.K.
Travellers are also increasingly savvy when it comes to holiday deals, with three-quarters (75%) of respondents who can be flexible with their vacations admitting they will ‘shop around’ to seek the best deals and alter travel plans to take advantage of pricing discounts.
Mark Simon, Managing Director, North America, Toluna, commented: “When we think of vacations we tend to think of rest and relaxation so it may seem odd that in-room technology is seen as more important than swimming pools and spas, but in a connected world we shouldn’t really be surprised. Consumers use for everything from streaming music and movies to researching their destination and uploading videos on Facebook, so it’s only natural they want a good internet connection at their hotel.
“This survey illustrates the importance that consumers place on connected living, even when they are traveling, so hotels should certainly consider free WiFi as part of their standard service offering to attract and retain customers.”
The survey was conducted in April 2015 among 1,000 adults (18+) in the U.S. and 1,000 adults (18+) in the U.K. Respondents were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Toluna surveys. Figures for age, gender, education, income, employment, and region were weighted to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the online population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
A pioneer in the dynamic world of market research, data collection, reporting and visualization, Toluna brings together people and brands in the world’s largest social voting community. As a leading all-in-one global source for actionable insights, we help market researchers, insights professionals and companies anywhere in the world make clearer and better business decisions that drive better business results.
Our social voting community of more than six million members spans more than 41 countries, enabling our clients to develop a deeper understanding of anyone, anywhere, anytime they need it.
Toluna provides the industry’s leading survey technology suite, enabling hundreds of organizations worldwide to create online and mobile surveys, manage panels and build their own online communities. Toluna products include PanelPortal™ Online Communities and Toluna QuickSurveys™ and Toluna Analytics™.