06 October 2011

Are Hotels Being Stupid? Are Travel Agents?

When will the ever learn? When will they ever learn.... lines from that old Pete Seeger song we all learned in school.

When it comes to hotels and indeed a large number of other location owners such as convention halls and meeting rooms - it seems never. The number of companies who STILL charge for WiFi is appalling.

I know many organizations who are now insisting on it as a condition of a convention space and meeting hotels. At the ABTA conference this week this message was delivered loud and clear. In a post in e-Tid,  David Rowan, editor of Wired UK, told the ABTA Travel Convention that it was like charging for bath water to ask for basic wi-fi, then akin to charging more for hot water if the customer wanted to upgrade to a faster rate of wi-fi access.

‘It is foolish for a hotel to charge for basic wi-fi. It looks like a rip-off especially when you can get it for free in Starbucks or McDonalds,’ he told the event in Palma.

‘I have called for a boycott of hotels doing this. We expect to be online, we expect wi-fi.’We know that Gen Y people dont waste time complaining - they just move on elsewhere. In a post in  US Travel Weekly - the Luddites seem to be seizing on a DECLINE in internet usage.

Richard Turen thought it was one of the most interesting trends. However I think he is missing something. That the pool of conventional users of brick and mortar agents is shrinking and those that are left are now those who are less and less likely to use the web for Travel Planning.

I divide those who dont use the web for Travel planning and/or buying into two camps. Those that refuse and those that are (still) scared or unable to. The deciding factor is whether the behaviour is wilful or not.

For those who are waiting and holding onto this notion - please get over it. Sure there will be a niche for these people. But they (and those who depend on them) will die out.

Then we will be asking - where have all the Travel Agents gone? I sincerely hope this doesnt happen. But every year the number of agents falls.



Ergonomic Chair said...

Hotel stays affect the quality of travel experience and i would opt to pay more than to deal with inconveniences.

Char Dham Yatra said...

When will the ever learn? When will they ever learn... he he...really cool.Yes, hotels are being stupid. they need to think about that.

Alex said...

You are so right. In Mexico some hotels charge $ 12 or more per day WiFi. Since a 10 day vacation and $ 150 internet bill I always check for free wireless.

Honeymmon Packages in India said...

Ha, Ha..I think they are born fool. No one can teach them. Hope so, your article will give him some mind.

TargetTravel Sri Lanka said...

I for one completely agree with your argument. Hate been ripped off this way. Loved you articles and thanks for posting. Cheers

Private Jet Charter said...

If I ever need to double check that my room has internet, I would probably have never booked at that hotel. 100% agree. Internet is just basic communication tool are essential for working travelers. So they should be free or at least available at all stays.

learn to fly a helicopter said...

Sadly I agree that travel agents are just dying out. It is sad that this profession is becoming irrelevant.

hawaii vacation said...

Many hotels in Bangkok are still charging for Wifi. Offering free Wifi service can surely attract a lot of customers.

Kevin said...

More and more people will continue to go online to book travel products, and to be sure, brick & mortar agents are dying breed.

However, I vehemently disagree that anyone has come to reproduce the quality of service that a great travel agent provides. And I think travelers are growing continually weary with all the work they have to do to book travel themselves.

The online tools still suck.