Last Updated on February 12, 2016 by Mark Lavington
Ofcom has reported that the time we spend on the Internet has doubled in a decade; the average adult will now spend in excess of 20 hours a week browsing billions of web pages whether for business, entertainment or information.
Our thirst for access is also no longer tied to our desktops; the number of worldwide users logging in from a tablet now exceeds a billion for the first time, and mobile traffic eclipses laptops. These devices have led to a change in which visitors access information, and the expectation they have of its availability.
Not convinced? 10 million British adults (that’s 22% of the entire population) login to public Wi-Fi each week. Access to the Internet has and is moving from an added extra in holiday homes towards an expectation.
So how do you offer free holiday home WiFi to your guests and make it pay?
Are you currently offering Wi-Fi?
Whilst not everybody will be blessed with fantastic mobile reception or superfast broadband (and this may well be an attraction to some guests looking to get away from it all), if you’re in an area with any broadband connection then it’s worth offering this to your guests.
Remember that the expectation of any guest browsing your website could now be that you have Wi-Fi, so if you do ensure it’s clearly highlighted; you want to be ticking their boxes as they go through your site.
Have 3G or 4G mobile access? Consider highlighting this as a sales point too!
How can you capitalise on Wi-Fi users?
If your holiday cottage doesn’t already have an Internet connection or router (which you’ll need in order to enable visitors to access the internet) there will be an added cost to your monthly bills. So aside from meeting guest expectations and keeping them connected to the outside world, what’s in it for you as a holiday homeowner?
The answer is potentially a lot. Several companies now offer a service that allows you to get a little back from your Wi-Fi access.
Picture your visitor logging in for the first time. They find the Wi-Fi Access code and go to their Internet browser (whether it’s their smart phone, tablet or laptop). They can be met with a branded login page, asking them to either provide their email address or sign in from one of their social media accounts.
For just a 10 second delay to their visitor experience you could potentially gain some very valuable information:
- The visitor email address; great for marketing and creating a long-term relationship once they’ve finished their holiday and returned home.
- Facebook likes for your holiday cottage page; another great way to build engagement and potential return bookings from visitors.
- They can also be asked to check-in on Facebook, meaning all of their friends will be able to see where they’re staying and giving your holiday home a great marketing boost.
The user is typically only asked to login to the holiday home wifi and provide information once, allowing them to continue to enjoy their stay, and you the opportunity to engage and market to them long after they’ve gone.
Considerations when offering Wi-Fi
One thing you may need to consider if offering Wi-Fi to guests is internet security and specifically the pages guests are allowed to access during their stay (particularly if your holiday cottage is regularly used by young families). Parental settings and web restrictions are advisable to avoid inappropriate material being accessed, and to keeping your guests safe online.
Understand the law
If you’re handling your guests email addresses then you’ll want to do so in a legal way. For more information on data protection legislation and your responsibilities when using electronic communications for marketing please read the guidance from the Information Commissioners Office here.
Here are a couple of companies who offer Wi-Fi solutions to accommodation providers:
We bring this article on holiday home wifi for information only, we have not used the services of Hive WiFi or Club Wifi so please do your own research ensure their offering matches your needs.
When holiday letting your second home to paying guests it’s essential to take advice on suitable insurance. Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday letting owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.