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  • Six in 10 Brits consider access to free Wi-Fi the most important requirement for an enjoyable holiday
  • 84 per cent of holiday-makers expect Wi-Fi to be free at the airport and 74 per cent expect a free Wi-Fi connection at their hotel
  • Brits mainly rely on Wi-Fi to look up local information and one in ten find it essential for keeping children occupied 

New research1 from Santander UK reveals that 30 million Brits (59 per cent) consider access to free Wi-Fi the most important requirement for an enjoyable holiday.

The findings reveal that free Wi-Fi is a key expectation for those on a break, essential for looking up local restaurants in the area or to keep up with social media. More than eight out of ten (84 per cent) holidaymakers expect Wi-Fi to be free at the airport and three quarters (74 per cent) expect a free Wi-Fi connection at their hotel.

With government figures showing that Brits made 45 million holiday trips abroad last year2, Wi-Fi is set to be a key factor in the chosen destinations of millions of Brits heading overseas this summer bank holiday weekend, 28 per cent of whom feel annoyed or irritated and 12 per cent of whom have ‘FOMO’ (Fear of Missing Out’) if they don’t have Wi-Fi while away.

For those going on holiday, connectivity is a priority for 59 per cent of travellers, ahead of other holiday comforts such as access to a good selection of bars and restaurants (58 per cent), cultural activities (52 per cent), good customer service at the hotel (51 per cent), air conditioning (45 per cent), close proximity to a beach (39 per cent), complimentary hotel items (37 per cent), availability of a gym or a pool (33 per cent) or access to a free crèche (9 per cent).

Forty six per cent rely on Wi-Fi to look up local information when away and to keep in touch with friends and family back home (45 per cent).  Four in 10 (39 per cent) holidaymakers use Wi-Fi to keep up with the news or look up directions, whilst 29 per cent get connected to check their social media. One in 10 (11 per cent) find it essential for keeping the kids occupied.

Overall, 29 per cent of adults consider Wi-Fi access to be the deciding factor when choosing a hotel or holiday resort destination. Despite this, in the past three years the quality of hotel Wi-Fi connections fell below expectations for a fifth of holidaymakers (21 per cent), who were disappointed with the connection while abroad. Thirteen per cent have even complained about poor quality Wi-Fi access at their holiday accommodation.

Andy Warren, Head of Select & Private Marketing said: “Holiday-makers are increasingly reliant on Wi-Fi connectivity on the go when travelling abroad. Having access to a high quality Wi-Fi connection is seen as a necessity and valued over traditional holiday perks.

 “The Santander World Elite Mastercard offers cardholders a host of unique travel benefits including access to a network of more than one million hotspots worldwide. Near-constant connectivity is a necessity for the majority of travellers so we deliberately designed a credit card that addresses this need and enhances cardholders travel experience.”

Santander has recently launched the new World Elite MasterCard for Select and Private customers, with a world of travel benefits such as unlimited access to over 800 LoungeKey airport lounges worldwide and free access to over one million secure global Wi-Fi hotspots through Boingo.

The credit card also offers 0.5 per cent cashback on a maximum spend of up to £3,000 per month (equivalent to £15 per month) and a competitive zero per cent on purchases and balance transfers for a period of 18 months. Available as a contactless card, it is all included for a £15 monthly fee.

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