Internet, Travel & Tourism

The times to charge for Wifi are ending

By William Bakker | 11.26.08 | 14 Comments

Daniel pointed me to a blog post by a online consultant in Germany who is outraged his hotel is charging him 5 euros PER HOUR for Wifi internet. He’s wondering how much water or flushing the toilet costs.
The thing that makes it really funny is that he’s giving a web 2.0 talk at the same hotel. He’s posted complaints about all kinds of social networks and is creating a viral buzz about it. He will incorporate it in his talk. Now there’s a way to make a point!
I have 3 criteria when looking for a hotel 1) clean 2) free internet 3) safe location. I don’t care about anything else. So bad research on your part Bodenseepeter! [update: turns out he didn’t have a choice in the matter, see comment below]
Daniel is wondering about what the hotel can do to respond to the blogosphere. He’s offering a crate of beer for the best idea. I’m in!
Here’s mine. It depends on the exact situation. The hotel probably doesn’t generate any revenue but has a contract with a provider in return for installation and support. It also appears to be the norm in Europe to charge outrageous amounts for hotel internet access according to the comments below.
The hotel should respond by joining the conversation and promoting their rate as cheap compared to the competition! Further, they should create a “free wifi” viral campaign. Free Wifi for people who sign-up for our newsletter. The referrals they’ll generate will pay for itself. And they can keep a relationship going with the people who sign-up.
[UPDATE: The hotel will offer free Wifi starting in 2009; this was already in their plans]

Tags: ,