15 Phillimore St,
Fremantle WA 6160
Ph: (08) 9430 4166
  • Free Wifi

11th March 2015

Free Wifi – Benefits Visitors And The Destination

Free Public Wifi – improves the visitor experience, makes bookings easy & valuable data for future marketing. Wayfound can take care of WiFi planning, installation, maintenance.
Bookings through mobile devices are on the rise. 

The latest research indicates that in the first half of 2014 more than 40{8e6d983e74874acb387086f732b9e8bca692130348b310c73ee91b097eb7ecc6} of bookings for accommodation were made using mobile devices. This is a 20{8e6d983e74874acb387086f732b9e8bca692130348b310c73ee91b097eb7ecc6} increase on 2013. This figure is expected to keep increasing.

Therefore, it is extremely important, when considering tourism related signage and promotional material, to make it as easy as possible for visitors to book accommodation and acitivities and get information about what’s happening in your destination.

So, what does this mean for regional WA?

The first and most obvious problem is getting a signal. I recently drove from Northampton to Denham, a distance of 350 kilometres, along a road that is a major tourist route, passing two roadhouses and not once did I manage to get a signal for any of my mobile devices. Is this not a massive lost opportunity to get potential visitors to stop at a particular location even if it’s just to give them an opportunity to check e-mails or make a phone call?

If you’ve been driving for three hours and then see a sign for a WiFi hotspot at the next roadhouse or information bay, this is a big inducement to stop. And then possibly buy food or drink and find out more about the area.

How are WiFi hotspots established?

There are basically three ways to establish a WiFi hotspot. The most cost effective way is to use existing copper wire infrastructure (used for traditional landlines). Another option is through existing mobile coverage if it is available in the area. And if no copper wire or mobile coverage is accessible, satellite technology can be used.

Focus Networks is Wayfound’s partner for public Wifi infrastructure – planning, installation and maintenance.

Free WiFi has a lot of benefits – for the user and for the destination

To connect to the WiFi, the user has to agree to conditions of use and to provide their e-mail address and/or mobile phone number. This then gives the destination information to build a visitor database and keep visitors informed and up-to-date about what’s happening.

Visitor centres can then do outbound marketing – promoting events, special deals on accommodation, conduct visitor surveys etc.

Other information, such as the visitor’s residence, can also be gathered, enabling the local destination to shape its marketing strategy.

WiFi at your visitor information bay

If you install a WiFi hotspot at your visitor information bay, not only will people stop but they will start checking out what they can do locally. So the information displayed needs to up-to-date and interesting, with information about what visitors can do in the area. It’s really important to give website addresses (perhaps for the local visitor centre or tourism association) so visitors can get more and make bookings for accommodation, tours, etc.

For more information on the value of visitor information bays, go to our recent article.

Managing WiFI use and costs is simple

To manage costs, the WiFi hotspot can be set up to time out after a certain amount of time or data usage has been reached. Also, if you get people repeatedly logging in they can be blacklisted for a pre-determined amount of time (e.g. 24hrs, 7 days etc.).

QR Codes

QR codes on your signage can also offer a whole range of information. QR stands for quick response and are essentially a matrix barcode that links to a web address. The link can be to text, pictures or videos.

So, QR codes have a large range of applications across the tourism industry. Let’s say you have an information board you can put different QR codes against different things you want to promote. The QR code could take the visitor directly to a website where they can book accommodation. Or to local trails information. Or to local heritage buildings. There are so many possibilities.

For visitors without a QR reader on their phone or tablet, the Information signs could also contain a help box for downloading a QR reader.

For further information on setting up WiFi hotspots, using QR codes and well-designed visitor information bays, contact David Duncanson on 0419 831 129 or [email protected]  or Kim D’Alton on 0410 449 375 or [email protected]. Visit our website at www.wayfound.com.au.

We can also help with tourism strategies, destination marketing, branding, design, signage, creation of mobile-friendly websites and social media.  Contact Kim or David for more information on these services.