White Island Tours, Whakatane
Marketing Manager Patrick O’Sullivan says fast, reliable internet is increasingly important for selling White Island Tours to potential customers. As well as the tour operation, the company also has a 28-unit motel, a café and a gift shop.
“Guests can now communicate seamlessly with family and friends via Facebook, Skype, or Facetime, and they can send photos and video.”
The newer motel units all have smart TVs in them too, and in the future customers will be able to use the screens for video-on-demand services such as Netflix, social media, video chat and browsing the web.
“The Wi-Fi extends to the café, and we encourage our customers to stop in after visiting the volcano to buy a coffee and a snack, share their photos and video online, and - hopefully - post a positive review on a travel website like TripAdvisor.”
When White Island Tours opened nine new motel units recently, it did not put phones in any of them. The company knew virtually all their customers had smartphones, so offering them free, fast, unlimited Wi-Fi internet access was far more useful than giving them the means to make landline phone calls.
“Moving to Ultra-Fast Broadband has revolutionised how we run the business, too. In the past, there was a server on the premises, and every night staff would back up the day’s data onto magnetic tape and trundle it through the building to be stored in a fireproof box at the back. Now everything is in the cloud.”
Cloud storage has also given the company peace of mind that the business could get back up and running quickly in the event of an earthquake or flood.