Aviation and Tourism Marketing Consultant Gatesworth James is of the view that government’s plan to end free Wi-Fi at the new VC Bird International Airport terminal next year is short sighted.
He said he hopes the authorities revisit the idea, as it would have a negative impact on the tourism sector.
“That’s sounds very odd to me, in light of what the airport was designed to do and what it wants to do at this time in a tourism based economy.
“In a tourism country, I do not think that is the route to go.” James told OBSERVER media.
The announcement to charge travellers for the service was made last week by Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, Robin Yearwood during a live national government report.
“The airport,” James said, “is designed to have amenities to have people engaged and involved while they are there, and the free Internet is really one of the inducements.”
The aviation official said it appears no one put much thought into the plan to copy what is being practiced at other international airports.
James said while he accepts the airport has to make money to sustain itself, charging travellers for Wi-Fi is not progressive and other activities should be considered to raise the funds needed.
“That’s not progressive. That’s copying other international airports that are not reliant on tourism itself. They’re not relying on word of mouth advertising, so that is not really progressive,” James declared.
Source: Antigua Observer Newspaper