Major tourist sites should have free Wi-Fi for visitors


TOURIST SITES across the country should offer free Wi-Fi access to visitors, according to Senator Catherine Noone who said it would encourage visitors to upload pictures of their visit to online social networking sites, and suggested that installing Wi-Fi infrastructure at our 100 most popular tourist sites would not require major investment.

“The internet could be housed at canteens or ticket kiosks at many locations, would be very cheap to implement and could provide a hugely lucrative return,” Ms Noone said. “It would show that, while we have natural beauty and beautiful old architecture, we also have the right ideas about technology – mixing the best of the traditional and the new.”

Of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, not all provide Wi-Fi access to visitors. There are no plans to introduce any form of Wi-Fi at the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre in County Clare or at Bunratty Castle and Heritage Park. The Brú na Bóinne visitor centre at Newgrange provides no Wi-Fi access either, whereas one of Ireland’s most visited tourist sites, the Guinness Storehouse, has a facility whereby visitors can access a Wi-Fi network for free.

Cork City Council has rolled out a pilot scheme providing free Wi-Fi in public open tourist spaces, such as Bishop Lucey Park and the Grand Parade area in the city. The scheme is designed to facilitate the increasing use of smart phone apps and websites by visitors to the city. A signage scheme will also be put in place in the coming weeks whereby tourists will be directed to areas where free Wi-Fi exists.