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Global travellers want to keep connected: Hotels.com

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ETW STAFFMumbai

Global travellers are looking for a home-from-home experience when they stay in a hotel, according to the latest research from Hotels.com. Topping the list of must-have hotel amenities are free Wi-Fi and free food and beverages, with caffeine being a must. Thirty-four per cent of global travellers said free Wi-Fi is the number one factor in choosing a hotel even on leisure stays. While 56 per cent of the global respondents said free Wi-Fi was their number one must-have when travelling for business. 66 per cent global travellers indicated free Wi-Fi is the amenity they most wish would become standard at all hotels in 2013.

Free Wi-Fi trumps both free parking and complimentary breakfast when it comes to choosing a hotel for both leisure and business travel, showing that access to the online world is a necessity for modern-day travellers with over a third still looking to stay connected whilst on their holidays. In fact 11 per cent of global travellers said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel. Among Indian travellers, 26 per cent consider Wi-Fi as an important amenity while looking for hotel accommodation during leisure travel. The demand for free Wi-fi doubles to 55 per cent for business travellers. “With an increase in airlines and airports offering free Wi-Fi, tech-savvy travellers expect the experience to continue upon arrival at their hotel. They are using their tablets, smart phones and laptops to plan activities, stay connected to family and even order a delivery meal straight to their hotel room, so it’s no surprise they require free and fast Wi-Fi,” said Zoe Chan, senior PR manager APAC, Hotels.com.

The survey further states that the technological comforts of home are also high on the priority list for travellers with 23 per cent of global respondents choosing high-end coffee makers as their top modern in hotel room amenity. Totally wired rooms which are completely controlled by one remote for any need took 20 per cent of the vote. Guests also indicated they would like to enjoy that much-wanted free Wi-Fi on hotel-provided tablets for guest information, room service and local guides (15 per cent). But for Indian travellers the preferred ‘modern’ in room amenity is massage chairs or foot massagers (36 per cent) and 25 per cent of them would like to have totally wired rooms which are completely controlled by one remote.

Keeping hydrated when travelling is important to hotel guests globally with 43 per cent choosing complimentary bottled water as the most appreciated simple amenity. Sharing the same sentiment, 42 per cent of Indian travellers too appreciate complimentary bottled water. Only respondents from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Brazil rated free power adaptors above bottled water. Free breakfast ranked as the favourite (31 per cent) non-tech item global travellers want to see become standard at all hotels in 2013. Happy hours, wine tastings or any other time with free food and drinks is 42 per cent of global travellers’ favourite newly offered hotel service amenity, with international breakfast options coming in second (19 per cent). Global travellers cite unlimited free food and beverages as their most (23 per cent) missed comfort from home when travelling. Another 14 per cent said they miss access to cooking in their kitchen the most. 48 per cent of Indian travellers would like to see complimentary breakfast to be standard offering at all hotels in 2013. While 19 per cent travellers would like to enjoy the items in their room refrigerator without being charged for it.

Also 26 per cent of global respondents said that their favourite amenity while staying at a luxury hotel is the high end fitness centre and/or spa, while designer toiletries also rank highly (21 per cent).

While travellers across the world enjoy their time living the highlife, the promotion of bath menus/bath butlers (26 per cent) and turn down service (24 per cent) as amenities simply aren’t of interest according to survey respondents. More than half of global respondents (54 per cent) chose the complimentary use of a Rolls Royce Phantom as the ‘outrageous’ luxury hotel amenity they’d most like to experience. The surreal car ride beat out access to a tea sommelier (nine per cent), in-room mixologist (nine per cent), and fragrance butler (five per cent) among other lesser desired extreme amenities. Designer toiletries ranked the highest among favourite amenities while staying at luxury hotels for Indian travellers (31 per cent) while High end fitness center and spa was the second choice (29 per cent)

Thirty seven per cent Indian travellers voted Goa as the best destination for hotels with good facilities. Metropolitan business city- Mumbai was the second choice among Indian travellers(18 per cent). Other destinations popular among Indian travellers for good hotels include Jaipur, Hyderabad, Shimla and Kochi.

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