06/11/2013 03:00 EDT

Free Wi-Fi For Foreign Tourists Visiting Taiwan, Tourism Board Says


Travellers with a thirst for a constant Wi-Fi connection can now look beyond the typical cafes and coffee shops when visiting Taiwan.

The Asian island nation joins a small list of countries that offers free use of its public Wi-Fi network to all foreign tourists and is a move that the Taiwanese tourism board says will "considerably brighten Taiwan's already shining image for quality travel services," notes Traveler Weekly.

Launched in 2011, the government-sponsored “iTaiwan” wireless network was only available to locals but has since grown to 4,400 hotspots in popular tourism spots, cultural establishments, government offices and transportation centres across the island, according to the Daily Telegraph. Travellers can check out the list of hotspots here.

But what's the catch? Internet speeds reach around the one megabyte-per-second mark and requires foreigners to create an iTaiwan account at a Taiwan Tourism Bureau service counter with their valid passport, according to The Net Web.

After that, travellers can browse maps, use apps or search the web for free thanks to the state wireless provider which has done away with roaming fees so that travellers can access Wi-Fi whether they are in Taipei City, New Taipei, Taichung or Tainan according to Skift.

The country's tourism hit a new record with 7.3 million foreign visitors in 2012 and is expected to grow to 7.7 million tourists by the end of this year, according to the nation's tourism bureau.

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