The Cluster Tourism of Galicia (CTG) held a working meeting with the directors of the Agency for Technological Modernization of Galicia (AMTEGA) and Tourism of Galicia, Mar Pereira and Nava Castro, respectively, with the aim of learning first hand about the actions and plans that both the Xunta and the State are deploying to improve Internet access in Galicia.
“We are particularly concerned about the rural areas and peri-urban areas where many of our tourist establishments are located, as Internet access is now considered another service that the establishment must offer”, explains the president of the Cluster Tourism of Galicia, Francisco González, who points out that many of the Galician tourist establishments have made great efforts to invest in offering good wireless quality to their users, “efforts that go to waste when the Internet speed offered by the provider sometimes falls below 1 megabyte”.
González also pointed out that, especially in view of the summer season, the demand for a quality internet service is soaring, as the number of users increases and, therefore, the number of devices connected to the network increases. For this reason, they consider it vital that the administration maintains its commitment to improving connectivity while defining joint work actions involving all agents (suppliers, companies and administrations).
Need for a response
“We need actions to respond to these deficits”, added the president, in a meeting in which representatives of rural tourism and the Sanxenxo tourism consortium participated. “If we want quality tourism we must offer quality services and in a large number of tourist areas the quality of service does not meet customer expectations and this is detrimental to the consumer experience,” they explained. A situation that particularly affects peri-urban and rural areas, where there are even problems of coverage with mobile networks, so they consider it vital to significantly improve high-speed Internet access in a large number of small towns and non-urban areas, where a very important part of the Galician tourism sector is located.
Investments of the Xunta and State for the improvement of the Internet
For her part, Amtega’s director, Mar Pereira, informed that the 2020 Long Band Plan aimed at improving broadband access in 181 city councils within a period of two years is underway. This project, which will require an investment of 14.2 million euros, will facilitate access to 100 Mps networks for 74,400 people in the four provinces and will extend the fiber optic network in towns with 300 inhabitants.
In addition, the director of Amtega also recalled that the State has other measures in place to improve connectivity, from which 258,000 people from larger towns will benefit, thanks to a public investment of 21 million euros from ERDF funds. With the implementation of both plans the Xunta estimates that in 2020 more than 74% of households and companies will be able to access high speed in Galicia, a percentage that is expected to continue increasing year after year through the new calls announced by the State within the 300×100 Plan.
Both the public administration and the Cluster, which represents 95% of the Galician tourism sector, agree to highlight the importance of offering better access to the Internet as a key element in the modernisation and competitiveness of the sector. “Rural tourism, for example, has a great importance in the development of the economy in rural areas, fixing population and generating wealth, but in order to offer a profitable and competitive service, they must have quality services that are currently as valued as breakfast itself, but while food or accommodation do depend on the hotelier, the quality of wifi is not, and we must work to improve it,” explained the Cluster secretary and president of FEGATUR, Cesáreo Pardal.