Hilton Worldwide will be offering a new high-tier Wi-Fi package across all of its limited-service and extended-stay brands. Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home 2 Suites will be launching the faster Wi-Fi service in the next two months, and there are plans to roll the offering out to all hotels in those brands throughout 2014.
According to USA Today, the price of the higher tier will vary depending on location, with guests typically being charged 3.95. Guests will be able to use this service on up to three devices. Josh Weiss, VP of brand and guest technology for Hilton, told USA Today that guests have indicated via surveys that they would be willing to pay for increased bandwidth.
"It's no secret. We all know that that's one of the most important amenities," Weiss told USA Today. "We're really trying to do this in a way that not only acknowledges guests who want faster speeds but also the prevalence of multiple devices."
Multiple hotels offer tiered pricing for Wi-Fi, and Hilton charges for basic Wi-Fi at some of its other branded properties, though few brands have made brand-wide decisions based on pricing. Recently, Loews Hotels and Resorts announced its decision to offer free complimentary Wi-Fi access in all of its guestrooms at its 18 properties in North America. Though it is the industry average to charge for internet, Paul Whetsell, president and CEO of Loews Hotels & Resorts, said that Wi-Fi is a "necessary and expected hotel amenity," and is determined to make it free.
TripAdvisor's TripBarometer Truth in Travel Survey, released in December 2013, showed that free Wi-Fi access in guestrooms and public areas is still the most important amenity for travelers. However, guests are confining their Wi-Fi use to indoor areas, with the survey finding that poolside Wi-Fi is the least important amenity for US travelers.