Cuba’s new WiFi rollout includes preferential rates for visitors

Cuba’s new WiFi rollout includes preferential rates for visitors

TORONTO — The Cuba Tourist Board has announced the start of a progressive rollout of nation-wide WiFi coverage.

The initiative was first presented at FIT Cuba last month. As noted by Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz in his FIT Cuba opening address, WiFi coverage is expected to reach 287 additional hotels by the end of 2018. Full coverage of every hotel on the island is slated for 2019.

“We’re thrilled to be able to expand our service on such a national scale,” says Eloy Govea, Director, Cuba Tourist Board. “This initiative is the product of our continuing commitment to deliver the best experience to the millions of guests who choose Cuba every year.”

In light of new agreements reached with global telecommunications providers, Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz has also announced that Cuba will begin offering visitors preferential rates for roaming service.

The development is in conjunction with the debut of 3G and 4G networks in popular destinations like Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Largo.

Govea says these technological advances come at a time of increasing foreign management and participation in Cuba’s tourism industry, as the country embraces its identity as a truly global destination.

As of 2018 Cuba is home to 21 foreign-owned, independently managed properties. With over 45,000 of the island’s rooms falling under the stewardship of these international entities, 64.8% of total accommodation capacity is being operated by non-domestic management.

This increasing openness to foreign investment is mirrored elsewhere in the Cuban tourism industry, with 2,152 restaurants and 23,185 hostel rooms now managed by non-state owners.

The central province of Villa Clara has become a flashpoint for this diversification and development, notes Govea, with an eclectic mix of nine hotels on pace to open in 2018. The Hotel Floreale, Hotel “E” Palacio Arena, and Hotel “E” Leyenda will be among the most anticipated openings in Villa Clara, while the Packard and Prado Y Malecón hotels “are sure to attract attention after their grand openings in Havana”.

Ensuring that Cuba’s tourism infrastructure is both welcoming and reflective of guests’ expectations has remained a guiding priority, says Govea. “With increasingly diverse offerings in accommodations and now nationwide WiFi coverage, Cuba has become more accessible than ever before.”