Hotel Miramar in Tsim Sha Tsui has installed high-speed Internet access systems in its rooms and meeting venues in a bid to attract bigger numbers of business travellers. Miramar joins Mandarin Oriental Group and Shangri-La Asia in the rush to improve competitiveness by offering broadband Internet access to its clients. General manager Sylvia Chiu Wai-man said Hotel Miramar had seen its customer mix change over the past four to five years away from leisure travellers to more business travellers. Reflecting its changed clientele and the demand of its customers for Internet services, the hotel group decided to launch an Internet service that is up to 300 times faster than the conventional dial-up modem access at present available in most hotels throughout the region. Mrs Chiu hoped the installation of the new service would increase the ratio of business travellers as well as give a boost to the hotel's overall occupancy. At present, about 70 per cent of its hotel guests were business travellers. The hotel operator has an occupancy rate of more than 80 per cent and room rates for business travellers range from HK$800 to HK$1,600 a day, about three per cent higher than last year. The group would review room rates in April. Miramar has partnered STSN Adsale Asia, which provides broadband Internet connection and conference solutions. STSN chief executive Bill Li said the system installed for Miramar would provide hotel guests access via their laptops to the Internet, e-mail, and virtual private networks. Mr Li said multiple Internet connections of up to 200 stations, wireless systems and Web-casting could provide conference attendees with instant on-line services. Mrs Chiu said the group had launched the services in nearly 45 per cent, or 235 rooms, of the 525-room hotel. She expected the installation of services in the rest of the rooms would take place either next year or in 2002. Mrs Chiu predicted about 40 per cent of the hotel's business travellers would use the services. Hotel Miramar will charge room guests HK$50 per hour for using the Internet services. Mrs Chiu said the company had also launched Internet services on room televisions early this year. The service catered for guests who did not bring laptops but required Internet services.