More US Hotels Are Now Charging For Internet: The Good News? Breakfast Is Often Free

Free breakfast? Fairly likely. Free Internet? Less so, states a new survey from the American Hotel & Lodging Association and STR.

The biennial survey shows that 23% of U.S. properties among a sample group of more than 12,000 charge for in-room Internet, up 8 percentage points from 2008. Luxury properties are most likely to charge for the service (84%), while no “midscale” properties charged for Internet. It’s a fairly steep decline as one moves down the price scale, with 76% of upper upscale properties charging, compared to 26% of upper midscale and 18% of upscale hotels charging.

Along with this rise shows a jump in charges for fitness facilities – one in four hotels charge for these facilities, up from just over one in five in 2010.

Hotels are, however, more likely to offer free breakfast (79%), although an article from Business Travel News suggests that this shift is likely due to the re-organization of hotel type participating in the survey, writing that “[n]early all mid-tier hotels – 95% of upper midscale and 97% of midscale – offer free breakfast, as do about half of U.S. upscale hotels.”

The survey also shows that despite the increased push for hotels to become more tech-savvy, many developments, such as mobile check-in and use of mobile devices for room keys have had little adoption, at 3% and 1% respectively.

Lobby check-in kiosks are also becoming a thing of the past. Now only 7% of hotels use them, compared with 28% in 2008.

[Flickr via mrkathika]