Monday, July 02, 2012

Tourists & Visitors Need A Welcome

Newcastle railway station NSW
Newcastle NSW Australia - Train Station.  "Where's The WiFi?"

Tourism is a huge industry for the Newcastle and Hunter Region. And yet as we discovered at the recent Lunaticks event on Tourism and Technology, we have a long way to go.

Tourism isn't the only industry that needs good access to facilities to streamline communications. So what are some of the elements that need to improve and what's happening in other locations that we can see is becoming a trend we need to be tuned into?

 The Need For Speed
Reliable high-speed connections across the whole region is vital. Many areas are still reliant on slow broadband that is too slow and too inconsistent in transmission capacity. All the mobile apps in the world are useless if there is poor reception and black spots. Bear in mind we are spitting distance to the coast even from the Hunter Valley, we're not in out the back of Beyond!

Wired For Sound ... And Internet
Hotels and accommodation needs to provide quality high speed internet that works and is able to be accessed by mobile devices like iPads and Tablets and these should be freely available as a part of the room rental. Tourists are visiting from a drive away, some from overseas and everyone wants to be able to plan their next adventures and keep in touch with their business and family while they are away. Charging extortionate rates and providing inadequate access is like renting a hotel room and telling customers to bring their own sleeping bag. Just not on. In a recent tourism forum in Bermuda one minister observed  "It was very clear that destinations that do not embrace the latest trends in technology, which are here to stay, will get left behind”. We are competing not just with domestic tourist areas, we need to be competing at the level that meets the expectations of our visitors from around the world.

Content - What's Up Doc?
It's no use if we have great broadband facilities and apps if there is no good and cohesive information on all of our business, to be found online. This is the responsibility of every business in the region to get their best foot forward and their party face on and findable online. If I come to Newcastle and want to find something to do - I can't find it if you didn't put it there and tell me all that I can possibly know about your offer. I want to be able to do a casual  search in general terms and know what's around in Maitland if I go to the art gallery, what else can I do while I am there? Where can I have lunch? Who has good coffee? Where can I get a full breakfast at 6am or supper if I get in late and am looking for something to eat at 10 PM.  If I am planning a trip to the Vineyards, where can I stop on the way and have devonshire tea?  Where can I drop off my dry cleaning and get it back overnight? If my car is suddenly making a weird noise, who can I get to look at it over the weekend? How the hell do I get to the airport without a car?

These are all fundamental basic, basic issues that don't even begin to be innovative. Let's see what something new looks like.

The Future of Media: Social Networking for Travel

How To Treat YourConference Speakers Like Rock Stars

Guess what? Speakers at conferences get paid a lot of money to turn up and talk. What do you want them to be saying about your town?

Here's what one presenter said about their experience.
Are you doing this for your presenters?


TweetingSeat: The Park Bench That Tweets

TweetingSeat is an interactive park bench designed to explore the potential for connecting digital and physical communities. Each time someone takes place on the bench, the TweetingSeat takes two photos and uploads these to Twitter. One camera is focused on the bench, capturing sitting people. A second camera is placed on the bench and takes a picture from the point of view of the people who sit on it.


 Read more:

Tours By Locals 

I loved this idea.

"Take a private tour with a knowledgeable local person as your tour guide! Reliable guides carefully selected and approved by ToursByLocals."  Read more here   


Back Home

What are you doing to prepare your business to meet the expectations of customers?

As a traveler, what do you need to make your stay as satisfactory as possible?


Here's Carol Duncan with the Lord Mayor visiting a tourist 'touch screen' that now greets our visitors (if they can find one), instead of a person. Classic radio.

"I took my friend to Newcastle Railway Station to find out more about where he met the coach, the timetable and how much it cost. With no information obvious to either of us, we used the touchscreen kiosk within the station booking office."

 Listen to what happened. 
 Newcastle Tourist Information Less Than Informative


  Lunaticks Take On Tourism In Hunter

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