Ireland’s travel industry has seen a remarkable growth for the past 8 years and it is predicted to further increase in the coming years. Only within the first 5 months of this year January - May, the overseas arrivals were 7.6% higher than the previous year, with North America being the top performer.
This summer we also have seen new routes opening to the long-haul markets such as Dublin-Seattle operated by Aer Lingus, Dublin-Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific and Dublin -Beijing route by Hainan Airlines.
Niall Gibson, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Tourism Ireland’s campaigns are now in full swing around the world. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2018 to €6 billion for the island of Ireland.”
With more tourists visiting Ireland, the demand for hotel rooms has also increased. According to JLL’ s recent report, this year the hotel industry is predicted to increase the room supply to 6% with investment building new hotels across the country worth of €500 million in 2018 alone.
It is clear that the hospitality industry experiences a positive look but in order to further continue its positive growth the industry needs to stay competitive for ways of improving a tourist’s experience which will ultimately bring them back to Ireland in the years to come.
Ancillary revenue – Thinking beyond rooms
Ancillary revenue proves to be a strong driving force for improving customer experience to the global airline industry, with a generated value of over $50 billion in 2016.
The hospitality industry such as hotels and other accommodations need to adopt ways of improving their revenue streams similar to the airlines by strategically partnering with 3rd party service providers, which could further improve a visitor’s experience while at the destination.
Tourists nowadays are hooked to their mobile phones and when landing at their destination, their first instinct is to connect to WiFi.
Ireland is great at offering public hotspots to almost everywhere including airports, hotels or public transports. Although it can be a convenient way of staying connected, there is a lot of friction that users still experience such as: low speeds, lack of security, lack of reliability and often at times annoying ads.
Andreea Slabutu, WiFicandy Founder & MD said "Renting WiFi should be an add-on value service which hotels, airlines and travel agencies should provide to their customers as part of the booking process. Many local car rental providers have already spotted its value and implemented the ‘Rent WiFi’ option to replace GPS and I can tell you that they love it. Connectivity is part of the travel experience and those who want to stay competitive should expand their product/service offering".
WiFicandy’s unique value is that it offers convenience of being able to stay connected anytime and anywhere while outdoors, enhancing a visitor’s travel experience beyond the premises of a hotel, restaurant or airport.
Security, fast speeds, ability to connect multiple devices at once, unlimited data and the peace of mind of not worrying about roaming fees are additional benefits that come with renting wifi.
My mission is to build local relationship with the travel and hospitality industry and enable them to generate revenue streams, while enhancing a visitor’s travel experience at the destination, which will in return help to convert visitors into repeat customers.
Some countries already lead in implementing this solution. The tourism body in France, Comite Regionale du Tourisme, is a great example of working with their respective local wifi rental provider to offer seamless connectivity to their visitors by allowing them to rent wifi from the local Tourism Information Points across the country. This is something that I would really like to tender with Failte Ireland once someone sees the opportunity I see, especially now with the new routes to the Asian market and the increase of long-haul visitors.”
Andreea Slabutu - WiFicandy Founder & Managing Director
Andreea has worked in the wifi rental sector for over 4 years where she has built extensive knowledge of the market. She is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for travel, technology and innovative solutions. Her ambition is to turn WiFicandy into a software solution that enables seamless connectivity for the travel market.