AT&T has been chosen by the Choice Hotels group to provide Wi-Fi and other connectivity solutions to its thousands of hotels around the world.
Selecting a connectivity partner for a franchise of 6,500 hotels across over 40 countries is no small decision. Speed, capability and reliability all have to be taken into account when choosing the right vendor.
AT&T has been given the green light by Choice Hotels International to deliver internet, Wi-Fi and mobility solutions to what is one of the world’s largest hotel companies.
Connectivity for guests and back-end operations
Currently, Choice Hotels franchises around 6,500 hotels across eleven different brands, including Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge and Clarion. In total, AT&T’s coverage is expected to extend to guests staying in more than 500,000 rooms.
Connectivity has become an increasingly important factor in guests’ overall experience, while back-end operations that rely on reliable internet are also essential to keeping guests happy. The deal with AT&T will allow Choice Hotels’ franchisees access to a single provider for that connectivity.
Guests at participating locations will use AT&T Wi-Fi to work efficiently, enjoy entertainment or just stay connected. AT&T is providing wireless access points, equipment, installation services and 24/7 guest support for Wi-Fi at Choice properties.
Rick Summa, vice president of Procurement Services for Choice Hotels, was positive about how reliable internet access could benefit visitors in terms of entertainment and communications. “We are pleased to be working with AT&T as a Qualified Vendor (QV). Our QV program identifies best in class hospitality offerings, taking out the guess work for our hotel franchisees and enabling them to focus on what they do best – delivering exceptional guest experiences,” he said.
“Connectivity is key for today’s traveler, and AT&T is providing high-speed reliable connections whether they stay at our hotels for business or leisure.”
The deal with AT&T also provides mobile connectivity to Choice Hotels employees. Solutions like AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk are expected to rapidly connect the workforce to improve efficiencies and, ultimately, make the customer experience as seamless as possible.
“We share a passion with Choice Hotels International for transformative technology,” said Linda Rogers, vice president, AT&T Global Business Enterprise Solutions, AT&T. “We’re here to help Choice provide the best experience to guests and empower its employees with the tools needed to do so.”
Rise in remote working
For several years connectivity has been a leading demand for those seeking accommodation while working on the go. And with the number of remote workers increasing all the time, AT&T’s dependable connectivity will be music to the ears of business travelers keen to take advantage of Choice Hotel’s facilities.
In fact, a recent report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) pointed out that a majority of business travelers — between 64 and 69 percent — would have no qualms with booking directly with a hotel if it meant they would get free Wi-Fi or high-speed Internet.
Leisure travellers look for Wi-Fi connectivity, too. A recent survey of 2,000 British travelers, conducted by insurance company Aviva, found that 40 percent of millennial vacationers, aged between 16 and 24, put wireless internet at the top of their ‘deal breakers’ list when it comes to staying in a hotel, ahead of price (cited by 38 percent), an on-site swimming pool (32 percent), and walking distance to shops and bars (28 percent).
Finally, a third survey, conducted by Opera, found that a lack of connectivity, not sharks, abductions or natural disasters, is the biggest fear faced by Indian travelers.