Broadband technology solutions to drive competitiveness of local tourism industry
While the traditional elements of sun, sea and sand were once the key factors determining the attractiveness of a tourist destination, in today's world, technology plays a critical role in the appeal of a hotel property for guests, the development of the tourism sector and ultimately the competitiveness of the destination.
"Technology is now very important to the guest experience. We see now that property information sheets that are completed as part of the contract process with tour operators and wholesalers include Wi-Fi as one of the amenities that hotels are asked to confirm that they offer," said Evelyn Smith, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. "Guests come on their vacation with their own devices such as smart phones and tablets, and it is important to have Wi-Fi available throughout the property so that they can use these. Hotels must have the bandwidth to support multiple users with multiple devices."
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The increasing importance of technology in tourism was highlighted at the recent staging of JAPEX 2013 - the industry's premier marketing event, with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association continuing its partnership with Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited to power the event and update the industry on new technology to enhance the tourism product. As technology partner, the broadband service provider rolled out its triple play of services - Internet, cable and digital landline telephone to deliver the communications to enable the conduct of business between local hoteliers and overseas buyers.
Flow Unplugged, the company's Wi-Fi solution, was deployed at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, providing Internet services to enable the management and administration of the event. Representatives of the overseas tour operators and media attending the event had access to high-speed Internet, enabling them to stay in contact with their offices in North America, Latin America and Europe.
Among the technology on display at JAPEX was an interactive, feature rich hospitality TV solution available from Columbus in partnership with Samsung Electronics. Jamaican hoteliers can now offer their guests an enhanced experience, by coupling Columbus' industry-leading broadband connectivity and cable TV infrastructure with Samsung's Smart TV technology.
"Our mission is to enable businesses to succeed by providing them with comprehensive, world-leading connectivity and information technology solutions," said John Clear, vice president for Columbus Business Solutions. "Our exclusive partnership with leading electronics manufacturer Samsung, means that Jamaican hotel operators are able to deliver a high quality experience for their guests, and our industry can maintain its competitive position when compared to the rest of the world. "
Guests in hotel rooms equipped with the hospitality TV solution not only enjoy Samsung's award-winning high-definition display quality, but are able to browse the Internet using the device's built-in Wi-Fi, powered by Columbus' broadband connectivity. The solution also allows hotel operators to use multimedia to communicate everything from service and amenity announcements to billing via the in-room screens, and provides hoteliers the ability to impress guests by adding little details such as customised content and personalised channel lists.
"We count on having partners such as Columbus to ensure the industry can stay up to date with as many new trends to enhance the guest experience," said Smith
Samsung's Hospitality TVs are already the trump card used by some of the globe's biggest names in the hotel and cruise ship industry, who understand the importance of always being one step ahead in the level of service offered to guests. Hospitality experts also agree that the future of in-room entertainment lies in continuously engaging both the discerning business traveller and the seasoned vacationer, by utilising the best in-new technologies layered with top-notch aesthetics.
Columbus' partnership with Samsung is part of its strategy to maintain its position as the preferred provider of innovative solutions to Jamaican businesses via strategic partnerships with leading techno-logy solutions providers. Along with the hospitality TV solution Columbus also offers the full range of Samsung business products, including large format displays for digital signage solutions and cloud computing displays.