A study of almost 9,000 business travellers reveals that free wireless Internet access is the most important hotel amenity, says Expedia and Egencia.
The 2014 Global Mobile Index reports that smartphones are the most-used devices on the road, ahead of laptops, tablets and eReaders – with 73% of Aussies even taking their work-funded gadget with them on personal holidays.
“For business trips, mobile devices are already a requirement for most travellers, and mobile usage trends are still increasing as these devices and enabling-apps make corporate travel smoother and more productive,” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.
Explaining the trend, Expedia President and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi added that “travellers are not only researching and booking trips on mobile(s), but they’re also complimenting their meals, complaining to providers and capturing every trip detail.”
To keep those handheld devices connected, 44% of the Australian travellers surveyed said that Wi-Fi availability and pricing impact their purchasing decision when selecting a flight and hotel, a thought shared by a higher 56% of those surveyed from overseas.
The Wi-Fi should also be free, with most travellers seeking a basic, free connection than one of a higher speed that they’ll have to pay for.
Not surprisingly, free wireless Internet also ranks ahead of wired in-room connectivity and the availability of an on-site business centre with computers and printers.
When it comes to online travel bookings laptop and desktop computers remain the most common devices, with 39% of Australians making their reservations using a desktop computer and 59% doing so from a laptop – accounting for a staggering 98% of all bookings made online.
However, the study also notes that travellers are increasingly relying on other mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to help them throughout their journey, and when researching the trip.
Globally, 76% of leisure travellers have used their smartphone in a travel planning capacity and 70% of both business and leisure travellers engage a tablet device during the travel planning stage.
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