Aussie Business Travellers Happy To Pay More For Internet

It's hard to imagine anyone choosing a hotel for a work trip that didn't offer some form of internet access. But are we willing to pay extra for the privilege? One recent study suggests the answer is 'yes'.

Picture by Serena Sun

A survey of 10,000 regional travellers across seven Asia-Pacific countries by hotel chain Accor found that Australian travellers had the highest average allowance for hotel spending, with a typical figure of $US158 a night. Australians were also the least likely to be willing to spend extra on a hotel which had green credentials, with just 38 per cent saying they would choose that option.

One area that Australians were apparently willing to spend money was on internet access. Free Wi-Fi is an increasingly common (and welcome) option, but some business travellers appear willing to pay more to ensure they get a reasonable service, as the press release announcing the survey noted:

Internet access was high on the list of ‘preferred’ services for the overwhelming majority of respondents, but increasingly corporate travelers are seeking ‘quality’ download speeds rather than just free (slower) internet. They want to be able to work fast and efficiently, and many will pay a “reasonable” amount for the service.

Another area Australians stuck out was in whether they worked in their rooms during a work-related stay. That figure was 72 per cent for Australians but rose to 82 per cent for Chinese and Singaporean travellers, a discrepancy Accor suggests might reflect the fact that Australians often travel overseas for conventions rather than on sales-related tasks.

Given my well-known status as a frugal traveller (that is, I'm cheap), I can't actually recall the last time I paid as much as $US158 for a hotel room or paid for Internet access in an Australian hotel. Would you pay extra to make sure the connection was higher quality? Share your thoughts in the comments.


    Before the 3G cards, I did pay for Internet access. Nowadays I'm using a 3G card for all my mobile internet access needs both when I'm in the hotel room or on client site.

    So today the answer is: no, I wouldn't pay extra for internet, but I'm also not using Internet from the Hotel.

    Given I pay for a 3G card with Telstra at $45 a month, I'd never pay for internet in a hotel at on average $40 a night domestically.

    Internationally, I try and avoid it wherever possible - a $100 initial investment in a 3G router combined with a pre-paid data card in the country I'm in (say $30) means that it's much cheaper than hotel internet for more than 1 or 2 nights.

    Happy? No.

    Resentfully being forced to pay for internet connectivity that has no wireless cover in your room, frequent dropouts and is generally infuriating? Yeah.

    I don't know which nufties they were surveying, but no one I know is happy with spending more for an internet connection at a hotel. Sometime you pay because you have to, not because you're happy to.

    It's just a way for a hotel to profiteer and gouge their patrons for more money.

    I am offended when a $200 a night hotel wants to then charge me $7 an hour for internet access.

      can't agree more. I travel every week and normally stay in about a $200 hotel/apartment. There are very very few places that have free wifi in Australia and they really should at this price point. Similar trip to the UK and US always have free wifi everywhere, and by everywhere I mean hotel, cafe, pub, bus, train, taxi....everywhere. It is nothing more that gauging their bread and butter business travel market. How am I supposed to stream my AirVideo media from home into my hotel over 3G??

    There is an angle no one has touched on here. I can expense Internet in my Hotel room, so I'm happy to pay for it. If my company didn't allow me to expense it I would not be happy to pay for it.

    My company is happy to pay because it means that they are getting more work out of me.

    Personally I resent paying for internet access at a hotel on top of already generally fairly high room rates. When I traveled in the USA, every hotel provided wireless internet free of charge and it worked just fine for emails etc. Considering how cheap broadband is for any business, $10-$15 per hr per person is extortion. Any business with half an ounce of sense would be offering free internet to it's customers. You've only got to look at the McDonalds scenario where people go there because they know they can get it for free and hey presto what do you know, they buy things there like coffee etc. because you know, "I may as well" and everyone's happy.

    No free internet access in a 4 or 5 star hotel is a dealbreaker for me. If I am paying $70-$100 per night in. country hotel I don't mind, you get what you pay for. If thw charge $180+ per night free internet is essential. I don't care if my company is paying, a rip off is still a ripoff.

    Travellers in Australia should demand free internet or choose a hotel that does. Alternatively, with smart phones and the ability to tether to a laptop, you have a lot more choice as to where you can stay and remain in contact. Australia is the land of the rip-off, where monopolies and corporate collusion rule supreme.

    I can't believe any company is paying for their employees to use hotel internet. My company has a few 3G modems that are available for when we travel and dont cost anywhere near what a hotel charges to use the internet.

    Am currently in the U.S. now and everywhere you go, not only hotels, there is free wifi (easy to find too with the "Free Wifi" app on iPad. Left Sydney where the Radisson had free wifi, but only in their lounge/bar. Motive - to get you to spend more.
    Aussie hotels have a long way to go to catch up with OS hotels.

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