The GBTA and Carlson Wagonlit Travel 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook report is out and it makes interesting reading. If you want a copy, click here, by the way.
They believe that flight costs will increase slightly, although the oil prices drop is still to be reflected in ticket prices, so there is likely to be growing pressure for price cuts.
They also suggest that hotels are looking at ways to improve profits. The headline room rate is constantly under pressure so they need to make their money in other ways. Ancillary fees, therefore, may start to rise. That nightcap from the minibar may go up, as may the room service you look to when you’re working late into the night. Perhaps the one that will impact business travellers the most will be increases in the charges for WiFi.
I doubt there is a business traveller in the world that doesn’t want to connect as soon as they get into their hotel room; perhaps even before they unpack. After their flight, or a busy day of meetings, there is plenty to do:
- Simply catching up with what is going on.
- Writing and filing reports.
- Producing proposals.
- Catching up with their network.
They all need connectivity. The problem is the hotel knows it and they will make use of that fact.
Let’s look at one example: the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. Their premium internet connection is $19.95 plus sales tax (currently 6.25%) per day.
Let’s say you have to send two dozen emails, some of which have attachments – about 2MB*. You then spend some time on the internet (call it an hour) – about 15MB* – before heading out for dinner with a client. You then get responses to some of your emails to your phone.
Roaming data charges, from UK mobile operators, can be as high as £8 per MB, so you don’t want to use your phone without some sort of roaming deal.
With Amiigo’s roaming data solution, using our MiFi devices, all that work would cost you less than £5 – a 63% saving
Now I know we’re aren’t talking about a huge amount here: £8.53 but now let’s multiply that up. Three days per month of travelling and you have 100 people in the business who are doing this regularly. That’s north of £30,000
Is that more interesting now?
If hotels do start increasing ancillary costs, including WiFi, the savings go up even more.
*Data usage based on this: http://www.att.com/att/datacalculator/