Free WiFi key to hotel booking

Complimentary WiFi is the most important factor when tourists book a hotel room in Thailand, according to a survey by Expedia and HL Group.

The Hotel Etiquette Poll found that 66% of the 1,027 respondents consider free WiFi the most important factor when booking a hotel room, followed by price (64%), location (54%) and the room rate with breakfast (53%).

This shows that tourists want to stay connected all the time, even when they are on holiday.

Among the least important factors were adults-only restrictions (10%), pet friendliness (12%), adjoining rooms (14%) and the hotel brand (18%).

The survey, which was conducted in August, found that 97% felt that WiFi should be free.

It also found that the majority of respondents or 52% said they were not willing to pay for WiFi when they booked a hotel where free WiFi is not provided while more than a quarter or 27% believed it should cost less than 300 baht a day.

When considering hotel services and amenities, WiFi remained top of the list of factors at 95% when tourists book a hotel room, followed by ability to control the room temperature at 93% and an in-room fridge at 90%.

In fact, only two items are not viewed as important by less than the majority -- a spa on the premises at 46% and pet friendliness at 32%.

Just over four in 10 or 44% said they asked to switch their rooms when they stayed in a hotel. Among those who have asked to switch, the most common reason was because the air conditioning wasn't working, cited by 76%.

Thinking about their past behaviour during hotel stays, nearly half of guests followed the hotel's suggestion to help the environment by using towels more than once during their stay (49%).

Nearly one in five adults who have stayed in a hotel overnight claim to have hoarded toiletries to take home, and 2% say they have taken other items from the room.

When asked about their preferred booking method, 30% said they preferred to book directly with the hotel, 20% said they booked via smartphones and tablets, 19% did so via desktop and laptop computers and the rest used a mobile app for smartphones and tablets.

The survey also found that 44% of those who stayed in a hotel in the past two years said they travelled solely for leisure, 52% said they used hotels for both leisure and business while 4% stayed for business alone.

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