15 September 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Another nail in the coffin of the printing industry? or a boost for the tourism industry?
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has supported an amendment to a tourism report passing through the European Parliaments Transport and Tourism committee today, Tuesday 15th September, which calls on EU member states, including Ireland, to provide free Wi-Fi in tourist towns and areas.
This would mean tourists would be able to check Google Maps, ‘check in’ at Tourist spots, post their photos on social media and so on, but it also adds to the death of the printed brochure, of the ‘programme’. Is it a good thing overall? probably yes, we have to move with the times.
Deirdre Clune said:
“Dublin and Cork already provide free Wi-Fi in parts of the cities and I don’t see any reason as to why we should not be rolling this out to more tourist towns and cities. Tech-savvy tourists would appreciate a way of checking emails, booking attractions, managing their flight bookings, checking out our attractions and keeping in contact with loved ones back home. In an increasingly competitive global tourist market, Ireland needs to ensure it is leading the way with its tourism offering.
“What better advertising can we get than having tourists posting pictures and reviews of our offerings on their social media sites? They are posting where they are and talking about their experience, free Wi-Fi will encourage this. It is the new postcard!
“We are investing heavily in attractions, walkways and advertising for tourists, why shouldn’t we invest in Wi-Fi? Obviously this would not only benefit tourists, but also locals alike.
“The latest figures from Comreg suggest that the amount of time retail customers are spending online at public Wi-Fi hotspots in Ireland now stands at 2.9 million minutes per day. Fáilte Ireland research shows that over 73% of holidaymakers to Ireland use the internet for planning a holiday here.