Wi-Fi important when booking hotel: study

NEW YORK—According to an Egencia/Expedia study, 86 per cent of business travelers noted that complimentary Wi-Fi in guestrooms and public areas is important when booking a hotel.

NEW YORK—Expedia and Egencia have teamed up to release a mobile index charting mobile-device-related behavior and preferences among global travelers, and the results demonstrate that as hotels continue to market towards millennials and refine loyalty programs, complimentary Wi-Fi is proving to be an increasingly important amenity for operators to keep in mind.

According to the study, 86 per cent of business travelers and 80 per cent of leisure travelers noted that complimentary Wi-Fi in guestrooms and public areas is an important factor when booking a hotel. 

Marriott provides free Wi-Fi to rewards program members

BETHESDA, MD—Marriott International in late October announced plans to provide free Wi-Fi to any members of the company’s Marriott Rewards loyalty program who book directly on Marriott.com, Marriott’s mobile app, 1-800-MARRIOTT or through a Marriott hotel.

Beginning Jan. 15, 2015, this benefit will make free standard Wi-Fi available across more than 3,800 hotels in the company’s worldwide portfolio.

This new Marriott Rewards benefit will be available at Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, and Marriott Executive Apartments, as well as Marriott Rewards’ partner, The Ritz-Carlton. These brands join EDITION, Moxy, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Marriott Vacation Club, which already provide free Wi-Fi.

“Free Wi-Fi is a meaningful way to reward our most loyal customers and continue to attract next-gen travelers,” said Stephanie Linnartz, executive vice-president and chief marketing and commercial officer, in a release.

Record Canadian foodservice sales in 2015: forecast

OTTAWA—Growth in Western Canada and a booming contract catering industry will help push commercial foodservice sales to a record $59.8 billion next year, according to Restaurant Canada’s annual industry forecast, released in late October.

The record sales are up 4 per cent from the estimated $57.5 billion that Restaurants Canada is predicting for all of 2014, and will translate into an additional 21,000 jobs across the country.

Contract caterers will be the breakout star that will lead all segments with an average annual sales growth of 5.3 per cent per year between 2014 and 2018, according to the report. This is due to demand for remote foodservice, driven by the natural resources industries, as well as rising populations at colleges, universities and health care facilities.

Furthermore, industry sales overall will grow an average of 4 per cent annually between 2014 and 2018, said the report.