I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait until later to check in on Facebook or upload my photos to Instagram. I want to be able to share my experiences the minute they happen. And it seems as though Internet-hungry American and European tourists feel the same way. Japan is now offering free Wi-Fi on its iconic peak, Mount Fuji, following numerous requests from overseas visitors.
According to the Asahi Shimbun, a local newspaper, Internet was brought to the mountain so they could share their experiences through email and social media. Hikers will have access to the Internet in eight locations on the mountain, including a number of cottages and a resort.
A government official told the newspaper they hoped hikers would tell others about the attractions of Mount Fuji, but they would also be able to obtain weather and other information to ensure their safety.
While it seems rather self-indulgent that Wi-Fi was installed because of the demand from tourists, it got me thinking about a couple of things.
Firstly, it could be incredibly beneficial and potentially life-saving having the Internet available in remote locations where there is limited or no phone reception. Weather alerts could be sent via a push notification to climbers on Mount Everest, warning them of heavy snowfall and potential avalanches. Hikers in trouble in the Namibian desert could call for help, with the Wi-Fi allowing emergency services to pinpoint their exact location.
Secondly, what opportunities are there for marketers now that there is the possibility to be connected anywhere in the world at any time, with the ability to create and share content instantly? Taking Mount Fuji as an example, the Wi-Fi could be used to send beacon-type activated offers to hikers for when they come back down the mountain, such as offers for nearby rest stops to purchase supplies or a hot meal.
What do you think? Where would you like to see free Wi-Fi be installed next?
Chloe Swan is an Account Co-ordinator at BCM