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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Future for Tourism

Havana, the main Cuban urban center, also stands out for its tourist attractions due to the diversity of historic and cultural values of the city.

The Cuban capital city, previously known as San Cristobal de La Habana, preserves vivid examples of colonial architecture. The city started to become famous by the end of the 16th century and is characterized by unique features with a strong Spanish influence.

Havana’s urban area is also characterized by its numerous squares such as the Arms, Cathedral, Old and Christ Squares, as well as the Saint Francis of Assisi square which is located next to the convent and church by the same name.

Nearly 140 buildings located in the city’s historical heart date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, while 200 were built in the 18th century and more than 460 in the 19th century, thus shaping an attractive combination appealing to the most demanding tastes.

In addition, efforts are being made in order to return to the emblematic Havana Bay its essential role in the city development.

The plans comprise the transformation of the area into a marine promenade, including the restoration of the docks and old buildings, as well as the inclusion of recreational, leisure and commerce areas such as the Almacenes San José (San José Storehouses).

Nacional de Cuba Hotel. View from the gardens
Havana`s Cathedral
Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro

The projects are focused on the Avenida del Puerto (Port Avenue), on the stretch from the Caballería Dock to the abovementioned Almacenes San José, where old facilities such as the Customs Building, the Emboque de Luz and the wood and tobacco pier are located.

The environmental cleaning up, one of the main objectives of the project, already shows favorable results which can be seen in the bay waters and in the return of some animal species, mainly birds.

One of the most famous tourist facilities is the Inglaterra Hotel, opened on December 23, 1875, and named after England, the main world power at the time.

Also included is the Hotel Nacional, a classic facility in the Cuban tourist industry and declared as National Monument.

This facility is included among the 10 Palace hotels in the world; and it was the only five-star hotel in the Caribbean during the 1930’s and the 1950’s.

Gastronomy complements these lodging facilities, from the modest places designed in the modern style of fast-food restaurants, to places with dozens of years of history.

The list of the most renowned restaurants include the famous Bodeguita del Medio, which has strengthened its role in the last few years, as the standard bearer of excellence in Cuban traditional cuisine, within the new tourist era in the country.

The B del M, as it is also called, is just a few steps from La Catedral Square, (Empedrado Street, 207); and it is visited by a large number of tourists who can enjoy, among its most renowned offers, the Mojito, a drink made of light Cuban rum, macerated mint leaves, lemon juice and sugar.

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