County Clare stands to benefit from an amendment to a tourism report passing through the European Parliaments Transport and Tourism committee today (Tuesday), which calls on EU member states to provide free Wi-Fi in tourist towns and areas.
Supporting the initiative, Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune commented, “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, posting pictures 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 towns 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.”
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.