The idea of creating Wi-Fi solutions for cruise ship passengers reported on in Wednesday’s paper is in principle a good one. Being digitally connected has become very important also to travellers primarily so they can keep in contact with others back home.
The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) shared its vision of Huawei Technologies and on-island providers together making this possible among others with representatives of the Bureau Telecommunication and Post (BTP). Similar services are offered by many other destinations as well.
It probably won’t be without limits, because the companies involved would most likely lose clients who no longer need to pay for Internet. That loss of revenue could be compensated, but the question remains by whom.
Mention was therefore made of certain “spots” that will obviously be strategically chosen for free service in the Great Bay area. It is even possible to restrict how Wi-Fi may be used nowadays.
Some quickly reacted that the current product for local customers should improve first. There is something to be said for that, but one does not necessarily have to exclude the other.
The value of facilitating visitors and making it easier for them to share their experiences in terms of “word of mouth” promotion should not be underestimated. If the project is feasible without draining already scarce tourism marketing funds and hurting existing businesses too much, it definitely seems worth looking into.