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business travel in cuba tips
Photo by Leonie Fahjen

You’re a business traveler. You need and expect efficiency. So when a business trip to Cuba pops up on the agenda, you feel a strange mix of intrigue and dread. Intrigue because it’s Cuba.The island is finally open to curious American tourists and business people alike after over five decades on the no-go list. Dread because Cuba is not efficient. Time is a flexible concept and the 1960’s throwback feel doesn’t exactly scream Wi-Fi and coworking spaces. So what are some tips for business travelers in Cuba?

Time… goes by… so slowly

Cubans have a different sense of time. Delayed flights, delayed meetings, delayed meals… expect it all. The best way to survive in the Cuban time system is to schedule events with time buffers on either end. Don’t schedule meetings immediately back to back. Give colleagues back in the States a heads up that rescheduling is likely. And when things change, let all involved parties know immediately.

Someone’s always watching

The Cuban government will want to know what foreign businesses are up to on the island. Be ready for lots of government regulations and in general much more government contact than what you might find in the US. Cooperate and go with it.

The hunt for Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is inconsistent in Cuba so picking the larger, more touristy cities and hotels is the way to go. The more you stray from the beaten path, the harder it will be to find Wi-Fi. There are smaller networks (often illegal, but usually tolerated) that you will stumble upon but do not count on them. Most Internet work will have to be done from your hotel. Trip Advisor has a helpful list of Wi-Fi spots in Cuban cities that you should keep handy.

Watch the money talk

Cuban wages are low so it’s best to avoid mentioning anything that has to do with personal income or personal expenses. A startup employee with a degree from one of Cuba’s top universities (Cubans are very well educated) might be making $500-600 a month. 

Where to Stay

Use our accommodations search engine to see the largest selection of business-friendly rooms in Cuba.

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