The Insight Files
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Consumer trends and news curated by Tourism Australia
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Who's taking off and who's on the ground in in-flight Wi-Fi

Who's taking off and who's on the ground in in-flight Wi-Fi | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

Business travellers crave Wi-Fi whilst on the road and in-flight Wi-Fi is growing rapidly with more airlines than ever planning to offer it across their fleets. RouteHappy has pulled together this infographic to show the current state of in-flight WiFi, highlighting which airlines are up there and which are yet to take off. According to RouteHappy, 60 airlines now offer in-flight WiFi across the globe and it's US airlines that are leading the way with some sort of offering on 78% of their available seat miles. Of the busiest long-haul routes, New York to Dubai is reported to be the best connected in terms of in-flight WiFi while London to Hong Kong is said to be the worst. Find out more.

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Browser Extension Tells You Wi-Fi Speed at Hotels Before You Book

Browser Extension Tells You Wi-Fi Speed at Hotels Before You Book | The Insight Files | Scoop.it
A browser extension launched Monday wants to help travelers avoid the hassle of bad Internet connections by adding information about hotel Wi-Fi speeds.

Via Wendy Forbes
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IHG sets the Internet free at InterContinental, Indigo, Crowne Plaza hotels

IHG sets the Internet free at InterContinental, Indigo, Crowne Plaza hotels | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

The InterContinental Hotels Group is now offering free Internet access to Elite-grade members of its loyalty program, which has recently been rebranded from Priority Club Rewards to IHG Rewards Club.

 

Platinum Elite and Gold Elite members are both in line for free wi-fi, with the benefit being extended to entry-level Club members sometime in 2014, the chain pledges.

 

The deal covers all properties under the IHG umbrella, including flagship InterContinental properties throguh to the hip Hotel Indigo brand, along with Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites.

 

Also new to IHG Rewards Club is a 'fast track' path to Gold Elite status by staying at three different IHG brands across 10 nights within a calendar year (Gold Elite usually requires 15 nights).

 

Platinum Elite comes within reach after bedding down at three IHG brands across 40 nights for members living in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East, or four IHG brands if you reside in the Americas or Europe.

 

Reward nights also counting toward earning Elite status, while Platinum Elite members’ 'extra' nights (over the 50+ nights requirement) will be rolled over to help maintain their status in their next membership year.

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Travellers want wifi in hotels to be free, but Asian travellers happy to pay for in-flight web

Travellers want wifi in hotels to be free, but Asian travellers happy to pay for in-flight web | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

While two-thirds of hotels in Europe now offer free wifi, much to the relief of many travellers, their counterparts in India and Singapore have a vastly different opinion when it comes in-flight connections.

A survey conducted by Skyscanner amongst 1,000 Indian travellers reveals that 72% are willing to pay for wifi services in-flight.

The survey was conducted at a time when the Indian government approved unbundling services for Indian carriers, allowing airlines to charge for extra services like check-in baggages, special seats in flight.

When the Indian low cost carriers were resorting to cost cutting measures to strengthen their bottom line, the survey reveals several psychographic changes in the way Indians were willing to spend on their flights.

Key highlights from the survey:

  • 89% of Indian travellers would be willing to pay for their in-flight meal within a price range of INR. 250 – 500 ($5-10) whilst 71% said they would pay for extra leg room
  • 79% of Indian men were more likely to pay for their beverages as compared to 76% of women passengers
  • 64% said they would be willing to pay for live TV in-flight
  • 67% of Indian women would be willing to pay for movies as opposed to 65% of their male counterparts
  • 77% of elderly travellers in the age group 55+ were not in favour of paying for entertainment such as ‘Games’, whilst more than 50% travellers within this age group were willing to pay for Wi-Fi services
  • 83% of travellers within the age group 18-24 years were more likely to pay for Wi-Fi in contrast to paying for ‘Games’

Read more at http://www.tnooz.com/2013/05/20/news/travellers-want-wifi-in-hotels-to-be-free-but-asian-travellers-happy-to-pay-for-in-flight-web/#uLriPbHOBWR7ol6m.99
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Behold the bounty to be had in travel when data roaming charges ease

Behold the bounty to be had in travel when data roaming charges ease | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

It’s the mid-1990s, and I’m one of those management consultants so lovingly praised on the hit TV drama House of Lies.

I traveled for about 90% of the time and needed an easier way to communicate other than a pager and pay phone.

In 1984, AT&T was broken up into several different “Baby Bells”. These became mobile network operators and travelling between them became highly expensive due to the lack of roaming agreements or consolidation.

It was not until the re-consolidation of the Baby Bells beginning in the mid-90s, and the expansion of providers such as Cingular (Now AT&T Mobility), Sprint PCS (Now Sprint Nextel), Verizon, and VoiceStream Wireless PCS (now T-Mobile USA) that roaming charges would be alleviated, and largely forgotten.


Read more at http://www.tnooz.com/2013/04/25/news/behold-the-bounty-to-be-had-in-travel-when-data-roaming-charges-ease/#iRwOW4A7VeMzib3I.99
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The soaring state of Wi-Fi up in the sky

The soaring state of Wi-Fi up in the sky | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

The global state of Wi-Fi is looking good, according to a new report by Routehappy. Routehappy analysed all commercial flights in the global schedule on a typical mid-week travel day that met criteria for having at least some chance of Wi-Fi by subfleet scheduled to fly a flight. The top performers were Norwegian and Icelandair, while Delta dominates in the US with respect to Wi-Fi availability. The current count of airlines offering in-flight Wi-Fi stands at 52, with non-US airlines offering Wi-Fi on 15% of their international flights. Routehappy CEO, Robert Albert, believes that Wi-Fi has become a must-have amenity, with coverage starting to be meaningful on flights worldwide, along with a wide variety of speeds, coverage, availability and pricing models. Click here for more information.

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Cities that Lead the Way on Free Wi-Fi for Tourists

Cities that Lead the Way on Free Wi-Fi for Tourists | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

Survey after survey  – including Skift’s own research – shows that travelers value access to the Internet above almost all else, and some local and national governments are catching on to the benefits of making it easy for visitors to connect.

 

So from New York City to remote Pacific islands, the towns, cities, and countries looking to attract tourists are investing in public Wi-Fi with the hope that it translates into happier tourists, and a better image for their destination.

 

In Taiwan, tourists register for the island’s free Wi-Fi upon arrival, presenting their passports to a tourist office before being granted access. Tokyo and Kyoto are much the same, except that visitors there receive temporary cards that grant them 14 days of free access. Much of London is covered by Sky’s “Cloud,” a public Wi-Fi network that operates over 16,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the UK.

 

The Estonian capital of Tallinn is a lesser-known champion of Wi-Fi access; thanks mostly to the organization Wi-Fi.ee, Wi-Fi signals blanket the city.

Many of those hotspots are maintained by private businesses, but funded through public-private partnerships.

 

South Korea is arguably leading the charge when it comes to government-sponsored Internet access, with the national telecom LG subsidizing a free network country-wide that extends to cover its taxis and underground trains.

 

But one other country has it beat. In 2003, the small South Pacific island of Niue became the first country to offer free nationwide Wi-Fi. Although that project hasn’t been without its problems, it’s helped the island attract tourists who want to stay connected while they sail, and helped stop the emigration that was hurting its economy.

 

So why is an island of 2,000 so much more clever than an entire industry of tourism professionals? For one thing, having little to lose makes it easier to experiment. Hotels, meanwhile, are frozen in the face of all they do have to lose, as the accommodation market evolves and threatens to leave them behind.

 

But a tipping point is approaching wherein no informed traveler will be able to pay for hotel Wi-Fi without feeling like a rube – even at the most luxe of labels. The fact that tourists are getting used to finding free Wi-Fi everywhere they travel will only speed the approach of that moment.

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Taiwan offers free Wi-Fi to all foreign tourists

Taiwan offers free Wi-Fi to all foreign tourists | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

Taiwan became one of the first countries in the world to offer free Wi-Fi on a mass scale to its citizens, and now it is extending that to any foreign tourist, also for free, in a move that will gain it a lot of goodwill.

 

The Taiwan government-backed free “iTaiwan” wireless network launched in 2011, and now has about 4,400 hotspots in major tourist spots, transportation hubs, cultural establishments and government offices all over the island country.

 

Citizens needed just their local phone number to register and then use the semi-fast 1 MBPS service.

 

Now, for foreign vistors, who generally have trouble getting a local SIM in the country (two forms of identity, etc), the process of tapping these wi-fi networks has been made a lot easier starting this month.

 

Visitors can open an iTaiwan account at a Taiwan Tourism Bureau counter/center, show their passport as ID and that’s it: they can login using their account, on their digital devices.

 

In addition, iTaiwan has established roaming agreements with four local governments so that tourists also have access in Taipei City, New Taipei, Taichung and Tainan.

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What Guests Want...at Hotels - Wi-Fi trumps all.

What Guests Want...at Hotels - Wi-Fi trumps all. | The Insight Files | Scoop.it
Hotels.com has released the 2013 version of their Global Hotel Amenities Survey, summarized in ...
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Wi-Fi plans for tourism hotspots

Wi-Fi plans for tourism hotspots | The Insight Files | Scoop.it

ADELAIDE and Brisbane have it, the Sunshine Coast is trialling it, and Perth plans to roll it out this year. 

The Gold Coast City Council is now closer to offering free public Wi-Fi at tourism hotspots to catch up to its competitors.

Free Wi-Fi is now available only at the Southport Broadwater Parklands but the council is looking to expand this to key tourism hubs around the city.

That could include places such as Cavill and Broadbeach malls, the Kurrawa or Burleigh beach foreshores, or even local skateparks.

It follows the call by Tourism Australia for Gold Coast hotels and resorts to roll out free Wi-Fi for guests to compete with international tourism destinations.

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