Travel Wifi Survey: Casual Travelers Still Value Wifi Access

Access to wireless internet in hotels and travel accommodations is becoming increasingly important to consumers, according to a recent study from Accenture. Even airlines, buses and a variety of other travel companies are beginning to place more importance on offering connectivity features to consumers. So just how many travelers place a high value on being able to access Wifi while in transit or at their travel accommodations? We asked 1,000 respondents on August 26-27 about travel Wifi and how the feature can impact their travel decisions.

travel wifi

Travel Preferences

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 10% of respondents said they have traveled within the past week. 15% have traveled over the last month. 16% have done so in the past three months. Another 16% have traveled within the past year. 26% said it’s been more than a year since they last traveled. And 18% are not travelers at all.

Of those who travel at least on occasion, 55% said that they normally stay in hotels. 42% stay with family or friends. 25% stay in motels. 9% stay at campgrounds. 7% stay in bed and breakfasts. 4% use Airbnb or similar home rental services. And 3% have stayed on cruise ships. In addition, 77% of travelers said that they normally travel using a personal vehicle. 31% regularly travel via airplane. 11% travel by bus. 10% travel by train. And 4% travel by cruise ship.

Travel Wifi

More specifically, 55% of travelers said that having access to Wifi while in transit is at least somewhat important to them. Those who value Wifi in transit were slightly more likely to travel via airplane regularly. In addition, 70% said that having access to Wifi at their hotel or other travel accommodations is at least somewhat important to them. Those respondents were even more likely to stay at hotels regularly, instead of at motels or with family and friends.

Internet Use

There are, of course, many different ways that people can use Wifi while traveling. 62% of travelers said that they like having access to Wifi when they travel so they can look up directions or use navigation features. 53% use social media while traveling. 46% use Wifi to look up information about their travels. 30% use it to stream music. 25% play games. Another 25% stream TV or videos. 23% use Wifi to work while they travel. 10% do school work. And 13% use Wifi for other purposes, like FaceTiming or responding to personal emails.

Additionally, there are several different types of devices that people might want to use to access the internet when they travel. 70% of travelers said that they usually have a smartphone with them when they travel. 48% travel with their laptops. 39% bring tablets with them. 12% bring iPods or MP3 players. 10% bring e-readers. And 9% said they don’t usually bring any connected devices with them when they travel.

Key Takeaways

When travel companies like hotels or airlines tout their Wifi offerings, whether free or paid, there’s often a heavy emphasis on business travelers who may need to access Wifi to get work done on their trips. However, the majority of travelers who like the ability to access Wifi have other purposes in mind. Simply being able to look up directions or use social media on their smartphones is a plus for a lot of travelers. While those consumers might be less likely to pay for access to Wifi on airplanes or at hotels, they still see it as an important feature, especially once they’re at their actual destination. Therefore, it seems that travel companies could be better served to keep casual internet users in mind when creating and promoting their Wifi offerings, instead of only focusing on business travelers.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton Lisbon..free wifi! by Jon Rawlinson under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on August 26-27 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.