Business travellers paying to stay connected whilst they travel are costing British companies more than £370 million each year, according to new global research from Amba Hotels. The average UK business traveller spends £16.30 on Wi-Fi and roaming charges on each trip – a third more than the average spend in the US where free Wi-Fi is more widely available.
Hotels and airports are the worst offenders, with some charging up to £17 for 24 hours. Having to pay for Wi-Fi services also impacts the efficiency of the working day with up to 70% of business travellers regularly unable to work efficiently due to slow or unreliable Wi-Fi connections. For example, two fifths (38%) have been unable to join a work call or videoconferencing meeting, almost a fifth (17%) have missed a work deadline, and half (53%) have felt the impact on their personal lives after being unable to contact friends and family.
Financial commentator and founder of letssavemoney.com, Sarah Willingham, said: “Fast, free, reliable Wi–Fi is non-negotiable for modern business travellers. With airlines and rail companies investing in Wi–Fi on board and international roaming charges falling dramatically, it‘s inexcusable to keep charging extortionate rates for patchy Wi–Fi connections. I‘m pleased to see Amba Hotels is championing fast, free Wi-Fi and hope their competitors follow their lead.“
The research highlights the overall cost of Wi-Fi to businesses globally and in key business travel markets:
- France – €232 million annually (average spend €22.10 per trip)
- UK – £371 million annually (average spend £16.30 per trip)
- Germany – €3.6 billion annually (average spend €21.10 per trip)
- US – $7.3 billion annually (average spend $15.10 per trip)
To help businesses and consumers avoid expensive Wi-Fi charges, Amba Hotels has teamed up with RottenWiFi.com to track the best and worst Wi-Fi hotspots.