After 26 years of existence and facing the increasing arrival of visitors to the Island, the tourist information centres (Infotur), renew the ways to fulfil the expectations and needs of the travellers through new communication and information technologies.
According to Oscar Gonzalez Rios, director of the National Office of Tourist Information, an example of the renewal is the free wifi service –available in all the Infotur centers of the country-, through which foreign visitors can access an application with thorough information of the Cuban destinations in several languages. Even when a center is closed, the new app allows to save guides and maps in any device. They will also have the possibility to download the Andariego portal, which offers secure location reference wherever they are.
Another way to show the attractions, culture and history of the archipelago, even to potential visitors, is the Cuba Travel website (www.cubatravel.cu). The first Infotur center of Cuba was created in the 1990s, amidst the difficult economic times of the so called Special Period, when came out the idea to boost tourism and thus the gross domestic product.
In 1996, the agency expired and it was created the Tourism Office of Havana with a network of Infotur centres, located in the main areas of the capital. On August 9, 2006, the entity changed its name to National Office of Tourist Information, attached to the Ministry of Tourism, with the main goal of implementing and developing the Information System for Visitors.
At the same time, similar offices emerged in the capital and by 2002 it had been extended to the rest of the country. At present, there are 30 centers scattered in all the Cuban provinces.
Cuba expects to close this year with 4 700 000 tourist- half a million over the plan- a figure that might grow in 16,5 percent in regard to 2016, when the four million vacationers were registered.
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