Friday, June 24, 2011

AT&T Mixes In Some Tourism Strategy

AT&T has their thinking cap on. Yesterday they announced that they will be continuing to expand and improve their wireless service on Block Island, also known as New Shoreham, Rhode island. 
    This is a very smart move. They are capitalizing on the frustrations that many travelers feel when they do not have good cell reception while on vacations.
    According to Steve Krom, vice president and general manager, AT&T New England,
 "Our goal is for our customers to have an extraordinary experience everywhere they use their mobile devices, including at popular summer destination spots like Block Island. We're always looking for new opportunities to provide an enhanced customer experience, and our investment in the local wireless network is just one way we're accomplishing that..."
    In 2009, AT&T signed a 2 year marketing agreement with the main tourism organization in New York City which "provided an integrated package of marketing assets to allow AT&T and its YELLOWPAGES.COM brand to reach customers throughout New York City." This agreement allowed them to integrate popular  search products with the AT&T user experience, creating better connectivity between tourists and the city. It also provided businesses associated with the tourism board to access special deals and promotions from AT&T. This seems like a win win situation. 
    I would love to see them do this with more tourism associations, especially in New England. They could do the same things in Providence and other Rhode Island destinations such as Newport and Block Island. Like they did in NYC, they could offer specific web to phone integration with, extra snippets for those walking the new Providence Independence Trail, and even connect with  
   They could get specific branding partnerships with T.F. Green, RIPTA, and the Providence train station.  
   These are just suggestions, but I was definitely happy to see a corporation actually thinking about travelers. Yes they will profit in some way, but so will those now able to get better signals on Block Island and other destinations.

    AT&T also supports tourism in other ways as well. They sponsor the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City Oklahoma, AT&T Center for Performing Arts in Dallas Texas, AT&T Park in San Francisco California. They also provide wireless services to airports such as the Newark Liberty International Airport

In fact, according to Premium Traveler Magazine, AT&T repeatedly gets voted as the carrier with the "Best Mobile Phone Coverage." This year is their fourth year with that recognition and Bill Hague, executive VP of international, AT&T mobility and consumer markets says that this affirms "that AT&T customers appreciate our commitment to connecting them to the people and information that matters most during their travels." 

Getting into the tourism market is a smart plan. After all, the U.S Travel Association says that in 2009 there were about 1.9 billion times that people traveled for business and leisure. Most often people who travel are interested making their trips more exciting, convenient, and comfortable, a reason AT&T could make a killing. 

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