The takeaway: Free-for-everyone WiFi

Republished through our affiliation with BCD Travel
Originally Posted: January 27, 2015

by Marwan Batrouni, Advito senior director and hotel practice area leader 

The news: Hyatt Hotels plans to launch free Wi-Fi free at all hotels worldwide starting in February, “regardless of booking method or loyalty program participation.” Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts also have said they plan to begin offering free Internet to travelers who book through their websites and mobile channels.

Advice for travel managers: “Hyatt is trying to differentiate itself by not imposing any booking-channel or loyalty-program restrictions, which has been very well received by corporate clients. Compared to Marriott and Starwood, Hyatt’s approach is being viewed more favorably because it brings value to the travelers—and travel programs in terms of containing spend—while helping support the travel program and travel policy,” Batrouni said.

“Travel managers should continue to evaluate properties based not only on the rate being offered or the amenities included, but also on how well the properties help support their program objectives. Also, if this changes a travel program’s strategy regarding WiFi, travel managers should clearly communicate updated policy and instructions to travelers. That’s essential to the success of any program.”