Tourists visit Florida for its beaches and sunny weather, and they want to stay somewhere that can give them that authentic ‘Florida experience.’ Hoteliers in Sarasota have capitalized on this, enticing guests to soak up the sun at their hotel with everything from private beach access to pools with swim-up bars.
Guests love these amenities but with being in the Sunshine State you need to make your little slice of Florida heaven standout? Free outdoor Wi-Fi just might be that extra ray of sunshine! Just imagine, with outdoor Wi-Fi your guests can now browse, stream, and post all while sipping on a daquiri poolside or with their toes buried in the sand.
If thinking of those happy guests isn’t enough to convince you, let’s look at how outdoor Wi-Fi will benefit your hotel:
Wi-Fi is a Necessity, Not an Amenity
Let’s first get something straight, if you run a hotel and do not currently offer free Wi-Fi to your guests, you are in trouble. In a Forbes’ survey of hotel guests, they found free Wi-Fi to be the most important amenity for both business and leisure travelers; and, in more recent a recent study from Hotel Internet Services they found:
Over 75% of guests reported that unavailability of free Wi-Fi would be a deal breaker and they would seek alternate accommodations. 
Today, guests are using technology in so many different aspects of their daily lives and they expect to be able to do the same no matter where they stay.
Want to see how your hotel’s Wi-Fi stacks up to your competitors'? Find out here!
Millennials are your Market
Fresh towels and chocolates on the pillow might be just fine for some (looking at you baby boomers, Gen x) but a new wave of hotel goers has arrived, and what they want is to stay connected.
According to the latest census, Millennials now make up the largest portion of the US population at 83.1 million topping the next largest group, the baby boomers, by about 8 million people. These millennials span ages 24-44, and according to Expedia, they travel more per given year for both business and leisure than any other age group .
This generation is tech savvy, extensively researching where they plan to stay, and tend to shop with a “What’s in it for me” mentality. If your hotel isn’t offering them something that your neighbor is where do you think they’ll stay?
This trend towards technology is nothing new:
Guests travelling with smart phones – 98.5% in 2019 > 78% in 2015
Guests wanting to pair multiple devices - 76% in 2019 > 67% in 2015
Want to hear the good news? By preparing your hotel to appeal to the younger generations you are, by default, going to make your hotel more appealing to other generations as well! You kill two birds with one stone.
Judge, Jury, and Insta-cutioner
So, you’ve got a bunch of millennials staying at your property, and you know what they really love? Showing off how fantastic their stay is on social media! In fact, 97% of millennials now share photos and videos of their travels online . After all, what’s the point of going on a beach-paradise vacation if you can’t post pictures to make all your friends and family jealous?
I was skeptical about the impact of social media on the travel industry, but it truly has transformed the travel experience from top to bottom.
83% of millennials say they are more likely to book a hotel after seeing it from someone they follow on social media
As an example Brian Ladder (pictured right) has 56K followers on Instagram. Would you rather a guest post something like this for free or pay Google thousands of dollars to post your ad on the web? It's pretty simple, if you want to reach more potential clients give your guests something to post about!
Social media doesn’t just help people find new hotels, it also aids in the decision-making process. People are relying more and more on reviews from social media to vet out the quality of a hotel.
At the end of the day social media is like a double-edged sword. Everyone can share their opinion, good or bad, about virtually anything, at any point in time and depending on their following these opinions can be quite influential.
Tech savvy guests want to be able to use all their gadgets and devices whereever they are on your property and they want to share their travel experience with everyone they know. What story do you want your guests telling? A live-streamed video of someone enjoying the tiki bar or the one describing their stay like as something out of the Twilight Zone due to lack of connection to the outside world…?
Subscribe to our blog for more articles like this! Next, we will discuss ways hotels can use their Wi-Fi to advertise various services and offers and services for to guests and potential customers around the property!