Recently released data from the world’s largest hospitality Internet network show that, despite challenging business conditions, Internet use by both business and leisure guests at leading hotels, as measured by number of data packets per guest session traveling on iBAHN’s proprietary network, increased more than 50% in 2009.
iBAHN, the worldwide leader in digital entertainment and Internet solutions for the hospitality and meeting industries, has released proprietary data showing two clear trends in hotel Internet usage: first, not only did the amount of data increase by 50% per guest session, but guests are spending 60% more time on the Internet, based on carefully tracked packet and session length information. These data confirm the predictions from an iBAHN-commissioned, 2009 study of frequent business travelers conducted by Ypartnership, author of the closely-watched National Travel Monitor.
YPartnership discovered that more than two-thirds of frequent business travelers have downloaded music onto their computers (67%) while nearly 60% have downloaded video. Additionally, more than one-half have downloaded news (54%) or entertainment (52%) onto their computers. Downloads of video and music consume considerably higher bandwidth and data than the average email or browsing session.
The implication of this trend for hoteliers is profound as it clearly points to the conclusion that the “free to guest” model of providing free access in all locations of the hotel at all times to all guests is economically unrealistic given guests’ differing bandwidth needs. Because costs for bandwidth continue to increase exponentially, hoteliers will continue to see higher overall expenses related to their broadband offering, without commensurate benefits in either daily rates or occupancy. If the additional investment is not made, guest satisfaction with the internet service will decrease. Earlier studies have shown that guests will not return to hotels where they have an unsatisfactory Internet experience.