In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, high-speed internet connectivity has become an indispensable asset, touching nearly every industry. The tourism sector is no exception, and it is thriving in the wake of this digital revolution.
In a recent podcast discussion, industry experts shed light on the transformative power of high-speed internet in tourism. Host Carwyn Jones is joined by Lawrence Wood, Principal of Coleg Llandrillo, Martin Williams, Partnerships Director at Openreach Wales and Carwyn Edwards, Digital Innovation Manager at M-Sparc.
Martin shared a remarkable journey of connectivity growth. In just a decade, superfast internet coverage in Wales skyrocketed from 44% to an astounding 98%, enabling businesses and tourism premises to thrive. Full-fibre connections, with gigabit capabilities, opened doors to immersive experiences for tourists and streamlined operations for businesses. An antiques dealership, once hindered by poor connectivity, now effortlessly showcases its high-end products through videos and images, expanding its global reach with support from Openreach. Additionally, a beachside café utilised high-speed internet to monitor beachgoers, adjust resources efficiently, and offer Wi-Fi for visitors to stay connected.
These examples illustrate how connectivity not only enhances customer experiences but also empowers businesses in rural locations. The discussion also delved into the importance of high-speed internet in skill development. Lawrence emphasised its critical role in supporting apprenticeships and remote learning, especially for businesses in remote areas.
The North Wales Growth Deal Project, in partnership with leading industry players, is set to create a tourism and hospitality campus that rivals international training schools, nurturing a skilled workforce ready to leverage high-speed internet for innovation and growth. Digital innovation, driven by high-speed internet, is reshaping tourism. Augmented and virtual reality experiences are captivating tourists, drawing them to lesser-known destinations. These technologies are not replacing physical visits but rather complementing them, making tourism more immersive and inclusive. In conclusion, high-speed internet is a game-changer for the tourism industry, fostering innovation, sustainability, and skill development. Embracing technology while preserving the essence of travel experiences is the path forward, ensuring that the tourism sector continues to thrive in our digitally connected world.