Aruba Atmosphere Local – Montego Bay Jamaica

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Aruba networks had a great agenda planned for all partners and customers of Aruba products.  Expected attendance at the event is over 140 people attending from multiple countries in the Caribbean.  The event started with a beautiful beach front reception, where the food and the weather couldn’t have been any better on the night of May 29th.  I had the opportunity to mingle with good friends and partners such as Troy Dort, Corey Brunton, Dick Zijdel, Ad Laheij, Darragh  Fitzgerald, Rob Eyers, Gabriel Bedoya, to name a few.  You could sense the excitement from everyone incited by the potential Aruba, and Aruba Software will bring to the tourism industry in Jamaica.

The first session was intended for partners and a few key stakeholders for the Jamaica tourism industry.  Mauricio de Hoyos, director for Aruba Networks RLA, started the session by introducing the sponsors and the distributors in attendance.  He introduced Dr. Carey Wallace and Sanjay Garg who were going to be the speakers for the session.

Check out this brief interview with Mauricio de Hoyos.

Dr. Carey Wallace, Executive Director at Tourism Enhancement Fund, talked about the abundant beauty of the island of Jamaica.  From the geographical beauty, to the diversity and mix of cultures found on the island.  Jamaica is investing heavily in culinary arts and focused sharply on bringing more experiences to the visitors.

He mentioned there are two types of visitors, the “vacationers” who want to vacate their home and lay on the beach all day relaxing.  And there are the “travelers” who want to immerse themselves into the place and culture they are visiting.  They are focused in expanding the personalized experience for the travelers, while at the same time improving the experience for those who are vacationers.

With new technology, he explained, Jamaicans need to become better at getting great reviews.  Their homes are opening up via Airbnb, Uber is coming to the island soon, and therefore expanding the experiences. He was clear and concise when he stated, “the review is king”.  Jamaica is trying to grow tourism from two angles, 1. Increase arrivals, and 2. Increase revenues that stay on the island.  Currently, 30% of all spending from tourist on the island stays on the island.  So the tourism department is working on improving both, and technology such as Aruba’s location based marketing will be key.

Sanjay Garg, Global Hospitality Solutions for Aruba, mentioned that 14% of employment in Jamaica comes from tourism and millennials are the biggest demographic segment.  He discussed and allowed the audience to comment on questions such as, “What do they want?”, “How are you going to embrace them?” and “How is the Caribbean leveraging network infrastructure to meet millennial demands.”

“A 1% increase in customer experience translates to $6.90 in incremental annual revenue for high-end resorts”

All these topics generated a great conversation between the attendees and the presenter.  In the end, Aruba and Aruba partners are all eager to help Jamaica engage their tourists better.

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Gabriel Bodoya presented location-based marketing (LBM).  Location based marketing is not new, and people have used it since the hieroglyphs in caves to direct people where things are and where to go.

"Nowadays, NO wifi means NO BUSINESS"

Billboards, Radio, Television are all traditional ways to do push marketing.  But with LBM you can also do pull marketing, since you have more information about the user and have insights.  LBM is the use of a marketing strategy to target users within a certain geographic area.

There is a location based marketing course that is newly announced.  Once I get information on it I will update the link here.

Our very own, Jose Luis Acebo, presented about location based software solutions such as Meridian. He gave examples of the solutions and he tended the booth providing demonstrations to the audience.  You can see Jose Luis talking about some of the product portfolio by viewing this short video.

The event ended with presentations by Sanjay Garg, Austin Hawthorne, Director of Security Business, and Renato Cinini.  These presentations were geared more towards the technology, embedded security, portfolio and education.

Finally, many access points were gifted and overall you could see the excitement in the attendees’ expressions.  Many attendees’ imagination was ignited, many of them felt closer to the brand and many of them are going to bring new business to the table.