Wireless Internet connections are becoming as common in hotels as cable TV and a free newspaper on the doorstep.

Tech-savvy travelers are looking for hotels that have added wireless "hot spots" throughout the property -- from public spaces and meeting rooms to individual guest rooms.

"We're at the tipping point where it's going from an added value to an expected amenity," said John Burns, president of Hospitality Technology Consulting in Scottsdale, Ariz, in a release. "It becomes a competitive disadvantage (if hotels don't have Wi-Fi)."

Wi-Fi, which doesn't require phone lines and plugs, is a perk for computer geeks at places such as airports and cafes. And new laptops are coming equipped with the standard hardware to make a wireless connection.

Nearly 25,000 hotels globally will offer some degree of Wi-Fi by 2007, according to Pyramid Research in Cambridge, Mass. In 2002, just 1,000 hotels worldwide were equipped for wireless connection.

Many of the major hotel brands have added Wi-Fi to their properties as the trend continues to grow. About 2,100 Marriott International hotels have wireless connections in their public spaces and meeting rooms.