Is 3G or WiFi now a minimum requirement for your holiday spot?

It seems that an increasing number of us are unwilling to disconnect from the Internet for our holidays

iwis might be hanging up their business suits for the holiday, but iPads and laptops are must-pack items for many holidaymakers.

Bach owners say a growing number of travellers are choosing where they will stay based on mobile and broadband connectivity.

A spokesman for rental website Holiday Houses, which has more than 10,000 properties on its books, said 79 per cent of owners mentioned broadband or mobile coverage in their listings.

“[That] is a good indication that it is an important and fairly standard expectation at most places.”

The average nightly rate for houses that specified coverage and broadband as amenities was 2.5 per cent higher than properties that didn’t, he said.

Rich Carey, marketing manager for holiday home rental company Bachcare, which offers properties from Northland to Queenstown, said demand for homes with WiFi had surged.

“As technology plays a greater role in daily lives, guest needs have changed accordingly, particularly with international guests, who wish to remain connected to friends and family back home,” he said.

A customer survey found half indicated the availability of WiFi in a holiday home played some part in their decision to rent a particular property. That is also borne out by network statistics.

It may come as no surprise that due to the demands of Whaleoil, I do try to have some degree of connectivity for part of the day, even when I’m off hunting.  

Connecting her Coromandel holiday villas to broadband has increased bookings more than 200 per cent for Jacquie Young.

The houses at Rings Beach, near Matarangi, are in a remote area, with a kilometre-long driveway. At first, getting broadband was out of the question.

“We knew it was a problem but did not realise how much,” Young said.
As soon as it became possible, Young’s Mercury Villas were connected. And since broadband became available, bookings have been coming in at a rate of three or four a month, instead of one every three or four months.

“The only thing that’s changed is that I’ve changed the marketing to ‘free WiFi’,” Young said. “Most queries are from international visitors and they expect WiFi. They don’t want to stay anywhere, even for a day, without it.”

A prospective customer called from Australia to check the WiFi was decent. “They couldn’t go away without it. Kiwis don’t care that much because they have it on their phones but international visitors do care.”

She had been surprised by the momentum the change had created.

“I didn’t expect it to become so popular so quickly.

“It’s a change in the way people are travelling. Everyone is taking their work with them, especially the people who can afford to stay here.

“These people have serious jobs they can’t ignore.”

How about you?  Is the lack of Wi-Fi or at least 3G a deal breaker when you organise accommodation these days?


– Susan Edmunds, Herald on Sunday

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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