Coach hire and with free on board WiFi

Samstag, Dezember 28, 2013

Why not offer all tourists the opportunity to enjoy their coach trip with free WiFi connection during their bus travels in Spain and provide a better travel experience?

Since the upcoming of the smart phones and tabloids, we are always connected. At home but also on the road, especially when we are on holiday and far away from home we feel the need to be connected: to talk and send pictures to our loved ones.
When travelling in a group on a coach or minibus we have lots of spare moments when we withdraw our attention from the landscape or our neighbor and feel like updating on our virtual social life.

Nevertheless, the connectivity of the smart phone and tabloids has its boundaries. Most users signed a contract to connect to a network in their own country. However, in a foreign country, smart phone and tabloid users have to pay additional and mostly high costs to connect to the internet network.

Would it be an effective investment for bus hire companies to offer tourists a “free” WiFi hotspot on board during their trip?

Will the availability of a ‘free’ WiFi hotspot in your bus attract new  customers to your coach hire company?

One of the main advantages of the availability of a WiFi Hotspot in the bus for customers is that they are accessible. Even in a foreign country. In this way, they can mail friends and family at home or communicate through a chat application on their smart phone or tabloid.

Furthermore, Customers can search for any information they want as long as it is available on the internet. Image being on a bus tour towards Bilbao and you would like to check the opening hours of the Guggenheim Museum so you can visit it straight up on arrival? This means that you don’t necessarily have to bring heavy travel guides during their trip because all the information is available on their smart phone or tablet.

In addition, tourists who booked an organized tour through a travel agency or a tour operator, usually have a tour guide with them on tour. Tourists, who travel without a tour guide, have to take care of their own information. Up to recently  in the form of a booklet full of papers. The WiFi service in the bus will allow them to store all the information on their smart devices and search for any additional information online.

In case of an emergency, tourists are able to look up a closely located hospital or emergency number. Most tourists know what the national emergency number of a country is. Nevertheless, in case of a small accident for which the tourist does not have to call the emergency number but still needs help, he or she will be able to find the contact information they need on the internet.

Looking at trends, social media is becoming more popular than ever. People want to share. People traveling or on holiday want to share more. They share their daily activities, their memories, their opinion, their pictures, their music, their videos and their experiences. AddThis (2011) concluded that sharing through mobile devices grew 6 times in 2011.
Think about it. Normally, travelers are able to show their holiday pictures and share their experiences after their holiday back in their home country. Now, the tourist could already share his pictures and experiences while he is still on his bus tour in Spain.

WiFi on a hired coach or minibus : are tourists willing to pay more for it?

Off course, the installation of a WiFi hotspot and the transmission of data will involve costs for the bus rental company. For tourists on a short transfer from the Barcelona Airport to the Barcelona City center or one of the nearby beaches on the Costa Brava it would probably have little meaning.

For a group of tourist who are doing a 7 day tour around Andalusia it will add lots off value to their experience when being  able to share their Malaga beach pictures. They could Skype with family while on the bus or share their holiday pictures and comments on social media. They could search for local information for their next planned stop or ask the driver to make a detour to check a beach or city center because suddenly the weather has improved.

Maybe the most important argument for coach and minibus hire companies installing WiFI on their vehicles is the fact that the tourists want to make use of their mobile devices during their  travels and holiday’s abroad  without the need to have a heart attack when returning home because of the  expensive data roaming costs.

As you understand, the availability of a WiFi Hotspot in the bus offers many advantages for the tourist who is traveling with a bus company. On the other hand, WiFi presence costs money and so the tourist will need to pay a higher price for the rental of a bus. However, when we look at the booming trend that people love to share their experiences online via their smart devices and take into account that their holiday is most of the time their highest rated experience during the year, these busses who offer WiFi could become extremely popular. This advantage might eventually lead to a return on investment or at least a competitive advantage over bus rental companies that are running behind on the facility.

So what do you think? Do you think that WiFi access would give coach hire companies an competitive advantage over other transport companies that don’t offer it? Do you want to share your holiday experience online while you are still on tour? Do you believe that tourists will choose your bus company  because your coaches have WiFi access?