The vast majority of business travellers want to see free wireless internet in hotels, according to a pan-European survey conducted by from Choice Hotels Europe.
Of the nearly 100 hotel owners, operators and general managers from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic who were asked to rank what hotel amenities business travellers valued the most, 90% highlighted free Wi-Fi.
Other facilities they value are 24-hour security and reception desk support (60%), a late check-in or early check-out facility (49%) and an on-site hotel restaurant (37%).*
At the other end of the scale, the amenities the hoteliers felt were less valued included a business centre (33%) and airport transfer service (18%), with a fitness centre mentioned by only 12% of respondents.
Duncan Berry, UK chief executive, Choice Hotels Europe, said that the company's Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands had offered business travellers free internet access since 2009. "We've also known for a while how valued traveller security is to travel managers, and unlike other chains, reception desks are staffed at all times throughout our network of hotels."
The Choice Hotels Europe portfolio of franchised hotels has nearly 500 franchised hotels across the Clarion (four-star), Quality (three-star) and Comfort (value) brands.
Choice Hotels to open recently in the UK include Comfort Inn Hyde Park in London, Comfort Hotel Luton, Clarion Collection Croydon Park Hotel and Clarion Collection Birmingham.
* Percentages add up to more than 100% as survey respondents were invited to choose more than one item from a list of eight as being "most important".
By Janet Harmer
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