By year’s end, Marriott International
will have free high-speed Internet access in the guest rooms of more than 1,200 mid-range properties, including its Courtyard, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites hotels.
Another of the Washington, D.C.-based company’s hotel chains, Fairfield Inn, will provide the service at more than 500 hotels by the end of 2004. Of the 1,700 hotels that will offer free service, about 600 are already wired.
Marriott spokesman Scott Carman told internetnews.com that the company has 400 hotels with Wi-Fi access but is using wired solutions to be sure it serves as many customers as possible.
“Currently we view Wi-Fi
At the company’s higher-end hotels, Marriott and Renaissance, will continue to offer “Wired for Business” packages which provide unlimited local and long-distance calls within the United States with in-room broadband for $9.95 a day.
The hospitality industry, which has taken a drubbing over the last year, is looking for ways to fill rooms. High-speed Internet access is increasingly seen as a must-have amenity, especially for business travelers.
For example, last month, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which operates Four Poins, Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin and W Hotel brands, is building 750 Wi-fi hotspots
Starwood is also experimenting with ways to use Wi-Fi with staffers to make them more efficient.