To say that the internet has changed the nature of tourism would be to state the obvious as surely as saying the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was a turning point in European history. Nonetheless, while it is clear that online services can provide huge amounts of access to information and services – ranging from reviews to online booking – new innovations are continuing to emerge. While the various concepts of making the above more accessible have been captured, the next challenge is to fine-tune such systems.
Just as the world wide web moved from using modems to systems that were integrated with other services, or superfast broadband has emerged to offer faster download speeds, so it is that new systems are emerging to boost hotel WiFi. In March this year, Hotel WiFi Test launched their latest device, a free content application-programming interface (API), which is designed to enable server-to-server integrations to take place more smoothly. As such, it was intended to make it easier for consumers to discover the speed and information quality of any hotel Wi-Fi service. Among the indicators are a ranking out of 100 (the higher, the better), along with the mbps download speed and the reliability, expressed in percentage terms. All this information can be embedded in existing websites thanks to the new API. The company noted that hotel Wi-Fi has been shown by numerous surveys to be highly valued by guests. This will certainly be true in locations which otherwise have poor reception, but in general the hotels that provide a good service will reap the dividends of better occupancy rates, so important is Wi-Fi to travellers. It should not be hard to work out why this is.
With better online services, guests will find it easier to find out information about local events and attractions that they can enjoy on their trips. They can also use it to stay in touch with friends and family far away. Commenting on the new API and its application, founder and chief executive of Hotel WiFi Test Yaroslav Goncharov commented: “Our main goal for this launch is to provide hotel WiFi speed and quality information to travellers without them having to leave their favourite travel websites.”Another critical goal is to integrate this data directly into the hotel selection flow, so that it can be used for searching, sorting and filtering along with other key hotel characteristics, such as price or guest feedback score.” All this means hotels will need to make sure their Wi-Fi is as good as possible, as potential guests can now access a tool to assess this aspect of its service.