Wi-Fi becomes must-have for holiday makers

Ninety-five percent of Gulf tourists would not book a resort without Wi-Fi, says Linksys survey

Holiday makers expect their destinations to provide WiFi.
Holiday makers expect their destinations to provide WiFi.

Holiday makers from the UAE and Saudi Arabia are rejecting the idea of disconnecting while on vacation, and are demanding high quality Wi-Fi instead, according to Linksys.

A survey of consumers in the Gulf and Europe found that 95% of Saudi and UAE residents would refuse to book a holiday location where web connectivity was not available, and around half of Gulf respondents questioned would definitely choose alternative accommodation due to lack of Wi-Fi connectivity and a third would strongly consider staying elsewhere.

Just under 93% of Gulf respondents said that Wi-Fi availability was a deciding factor when planning a holiday, while only 1.5% of Middle East participants didn't consider Wi-Fi important at all. All respondents in the survey rated Wi-Fi as an important factor, with 82% of British residents and 75% of German residents saying it was an essential factor in booking a holiday destination.

The survey, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne, sampled 8,000 resident of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and UK.

"Most Middle East travelers want to be connected all the time, wherever they are, just like at home," said Amanulla Khan, Managing Director of Linksys Middle East, Turkey & Africa. "This insightful research shows that we have become more dependent on Wi-Fi even when we travel and consider it a basic need."

Families with children have a greater need for Wi-Fi connectivity than those traveling with their adult offspring - 77% versus 62%, respectively. It also appears that the under-18s' preferences had a greater influence on their parents' choice of hotel, campsite, or privately rented accommodation than those of grown-up kids.

Gulf residents were equally as demanding when taking holidays in their home countries, with 95% of respondents considering the presence of Wi-Fi to be important, compared to only 77% Western Europeans rated this important.

Khan said the results were clear - lack of Wi-Fi really could be a deal-breaker. He advised owners of holiday lets, Airbnb landlords, and hotel managers to ensure they could offer strong, fast, and secure Wi-Fi connections to their guests, or risk losing their custom.

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