Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether offering free Wi‐Fi improves hotels' online ratings, which are considered a measure of customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach – Empirical research was conducted using the salient features of downloaded reviews (e.g. dates and types of travelers) of 26,439 hotels in 200 destinations. Findings – It was found that offering free Wi‐Fi helps hotels improve their ratings by up to 8 percent. Business centers and room service are irrelevant to customers. Allowing pets can improve ratings by up to 1 percent. Business hotels clients are systematically more dissatisfied than those who stay at non‐business hotels. Research limitations/implications – The quality of the Wi‐Fi offered (e.g. its speed, ease of use, and areas of availability) was not measured. It would also be interesting to perform further analyses based on the profiles of the reviewers. Practical implications – Hotels must offer free Wi‐Fi and should consider information and communication technologies as a way to improve customer satisfaction. Originality/value – The number of hotels studied guarantees accurate results. The study provides a clear measurement of the improvement that can be achieved by offering a specific amenity and assesses the relative significance of other hotel amenities (i.e. business centers, room service).
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 4, 2011
Keywords: Hotels; Tourism technology; Consumer behaviour; Communication technologies; TripAdvisor; Wi‐Fi; WLAN; Business centers; Room service; Pets
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