27% of British holidaymakers refuse to stay in hotels without free Wi-Fi

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Free wi-fi, Hotel

Research by Lastminute.com has shown that holidaymakers continue to rely on their smartphones and other gadgets while away to occupy themselves and remain connected to friends and family back home
Research by Lastminute.com has shown that holidaymakers continue to rely on their smartphones and other gadgets while away to occupy themselves and remain connected to friends and family back home
More than a quarter of British holidaymakers refuse to stay at hotels that don't offer free Wi-Fi as they increasingly rely on the internet connection via smartphones and other gadgets to occupy themselves and keep friends and family up-dated on their activities while away. 

According to a survey of 2,000 adults by Lastminute.com, 40 per cent of Brits would rather stay in a two or three star hotel which offered free Wi-Fi than a five star hotel without it, while 30 per cent would choose restaurants and bars with Wi-Fi over those without. 

Such is the obsession with gadgets that 90 per cent of Brits spend up to four hours a day on devices such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, digital cameras and games consoles while on holiday with 48 per cent of them relying on them to occupy themselves. 

Using social networks to share experiences with friends and family back home is also a popular activity among holidaymakers with 31 per cent saying they posted real-time updates when away. 

Investing in technology

Mark Maddock, managing director of Lastminute.com UK and Ireland, said hotels wishing to boost occupancy should think about keeping technology up-to-date to appeal to the connection-obsessed guest, although he suggested guests may want to spend less time looking at gadgets and more on their surroundings. 

“Whether it’s a good distraction or not, the reality is our customers are now always connected – and they want this to continue seamlessly when they are abroad," he said. "We are finding with our hotel partners it is no longer enough to offer guests free Wifi, it is also about the quality and speed of the internet connection.

"We have connected travel with technology since 1998 but would be the first to say to customers – don’t forget to switch off when you are on holiday and open your eyes to where you are in the world.”

The findings come as two pieces of research from Samsung and Cardonet​ revealed that hoteliers believe investing in the latest technology will help boost their business, yet more than a quarter can't afford to do so. 

However, the areas where hoteliers agreed they should be investing in were improving Wi-Fi and remote check-in systems. 

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