Postcards from the Coast
At the end of April 2012 an intrepid team of three charity fund raisers set out from Cornwall to circumnavigate Britain by kayak. By 17 May the "Midlife Kayakers" had reached Abereiddy on the North Pembrokeshire coast. Progress reports are posted on a blog and a dedicated Facebook page, using GPS locations, diary entries, still photographs and video. Fortunately a hostelry close to Abereiddy offered free public wi-fi, allowing the paddlers to update their progress and post a good few complimentary comments on the local area and local people.
Real time itineraries of this kind are a very effective showcase for coast and countryside, and mobile technology allows sharing and interaction with family, friends and 'followers' - so long as Internet access is available. But not all coastal or upland areas are well connected.
Is your business and your area missing out on opportunities to turn your customers into advocates? Read on ...
Help us expand the free public wi-fi network
More and more our visitors are expecting to find free wi-fi, in hotels and guesthouses, pubs and restaurants, visitor centres, TICs and across the wider spectrum of visitor services. And as more and more visitors make use of public wi-fi, so do unprompted recommendations and referrals add authentic substance to the destination marketing effort. The greater the free wi-fi network, the greater the benefits.
But a word of caution ...
It is not enough to simply hand out the password to your existing broadband connection. There are usually business functions associated with your broadband that should be kept secure. The answer is to talk to your tech supplier about splitting your broadband into separate 'public' and 'secure' connections, thereby placing a firewall around business functions and information.
An alternative is to take advantage of one of the 'hotspot' services offered by internet service providers. The most prolific seems to be BT Fon, which claims 3.5 million hotspot locations across the UK. Subscription to the network, for both users and hotspot providers, is free to British Telecom customers.
Whichever route you choose to public wi-fi, make sure you publicise the service on your premises. And with public wi-fi in place you can take full advantage of check-ins: Foursquare, Facebook and the rest.
Finally, to be confident that you are protecting yourself against scams and assorted Internet rogues and vagabonds, spend a little time browsing the e-Crime Wales web site.
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