Lonely Planet Writer

No gimmicks necessary - survey finds most travellers' hotel needs are quite simple

Hotels around the world are tripping over themselves to outdo each other with tech gimmicks in a race to be seen as the most futuristic.

Junior suite at the Kassandra Bay hotel.
Junior suite at the Kassandra Bay hotel. Image by Kassandra Bay Resort & SPA / CC BY 2.0

However, when it comes to their guests … their needs may actually be much simpler in terms of what they actually want in their room. A survey of travellers discovered that apart from good WiFi, the thing most wanted by travellers staying in hotels were more power outlets and USB outlets to charge their devices. Next on the list was availability of streaming services like Netflix or HBO Go so that guests could relax in the evenings with their favourite TV show playing on a big screen rather than on their laptop or tablet.

The survey of more than 800 business travellers in the US and Canada asked for the three things they would most like to see in a hotel room. Aside from more power outlets and streaming, next most in demand was the availability of in-room chargers for laptops and mobile devices. Some other services were nowhere near as popular, including maintaining “guest profiles” for regular guests, body sensors that would detect if rooms were occupied, offering laptops and tablets for rent and in-room online phone services. The survey also found that more than half of the hotel guests – 55% – spent at least an hour a day on in-room WiFi for work with 48% spending another hour online for leisure purposes. Three-quarters of people said they were satisfied with the WiFi available at the hotels they stayed in, but only 62% believed it was fully secure.

Monica Sanchez of the Global Business Travel Association said: “in the future, hotels could invest in innovative new technologies, but should also continue to focus on improving existing amenities, especially WiFi as that remains most important.”