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Color TV and Free HBO

By: Thomas Gabriel, Upstate New York Blogger | Aug 29, 2019

Electricity, indoor plumbing and WiFi; all things necessary when choosing a hotel. Remember when that wasn’t always the case? There was a time when WiFi was a luxury or bonus amenity. If you’re too young to remember that time, then a world without it probably seems as ancient as the dark ages. Features such as WiFi and HD flat screen TVs are something hotels would barely mention when advertising. After all, guests have these in their homes and see it as standard. Some guests will even have better quality TVs and faster WiFi at home.

Hotels and motels used to advertise ‘Color TV and Free HBO’. The thought now makes us laugh and seems ridiculous. However, hotels now advertising ‘Free WiFi’ probably seems this way to those who have it at all times. The items that modern guests see as a luxury can one day become barely noticeable to the guest of the future.

Being able to log right into one’s streaming services account is one of the latest trends. However, many guests already have this at home. Most recently, Netflix reported 60.1 million paid US subscribers and Hulu reported 26.8 million (Watson, 2019). While it’s currently a convenience to have a Smart TV in one’s hotel room, this will become something that is standard in future hotels. It is now the responsibility of hotels to stay current and keep up with what guests are accustom to having. In the past, people would go to a hotel to experience amenities or services, such as HBO, that they did not have at home. Now hotels have to play catch up with comforts guests have in their homes and expect to have when traveling.

This is where hotels have to look past what features they can add or what the best technology out there is available. They have to look towards their number one asset, their staff. If the front desk associate knows some of the greatest little restaurants in town or where an amazing walking trail is, this is where a hotel can shine with a local’s knowledge. If the housekeeping staff is meticulously clean and greets each guest with a smile, that is a reason to return. A friendly bartender, who remembers a guest’s name and order, can create a busy lively hotel bar. It is the people in the hotel that can bring the experience, not the amenities.

It’s important for guests to feel comfortable while traveling. Hotels need to stay up with the essentials, which may now seem like luxuries. Features in hotels that seem cutting edge may one day even become obsolete. What hotels can offer is great service and an amazing experience, which is timeless.

Watson, A. (2019). Netflix subscribers count in the U.S. | Statista. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/250937/quarterly-number-of-netflix-streaming-subscribers-in-the-us/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].

Watson, A. (2019). Hulu: number of paying subscribers by quarter U.S. 2019 | Statista. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/258014/number-of-hulus-paying-subscribers/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].

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