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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Havana: Fairs and Events in the Cuban Panorama

Cuba's tourist panorama, characterized by a dynamic growth over the past few years, is complemented by a wide gamut of offers for visitors, including fairs and specialized events that cover a broad spectrum.

The development of that trend results from the growing interest shown by businesspeople and the sector of tourism of events in the attractions of the largest Antillean island.

The most recent example of that strategy is the International Fair on Transportation (FIT'2001), which brought together representatives of over 300 companies from 21 countries during its fifth edition in September.

FIT'2001, which was first held in the 1990s, aims to propitiate the exchange of experiences among companies involved in the vital activity of transportation, along with the signing of agreements, which reached 40 million dollars during the recent fair.

According to experts, the major role of this kind of event lies in the vital importance of transportation in modern society, especially for the tourist industry, which demands high-quality offers for vacationers.

A good occasion for meetings, and technological and commercial exchange among companies - both national and foreign - FIT shows the island's ever-increasing attractions for those who bet on doing business with Havana.

Bus Car

This year's fair focused on the work of a joint venture between the Brazilian group Busscar and the Cuban Ministry of Transportation. The company can assemble up to 216 buses a year, with prospects of increasing production in accordance with demand.

Of course, vehicles of such renowned brands as Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Citroen and Toyota are increasing their presence in the island's roads and streets, as an evident response to the requirements of the national economy, especially the tourist sector.

Foreign automotive firms are looking ahead, not limiting their activities to the mere commercialization of their products, which reflects on the expansion of warrantee and maintenance services, a strategy that is backed up by local specialized companies.

But prospects go beyond automobiles and buses, reaching spheres of business with foreign firms, such as in the case of the maritime and port sector.

Several facilities stand out in that area, such as Havana's cruise terminal, with Italian capital, a container-storage area in the capital, with the presence of Spanish firms, and Santiago de Cuba's shipyards, in association with Dutch companies.

Cuba's official transport policy makes emphasis on efficiency in cargo and passenger transportation, and creates the proper environment for business, an opportunity that many entrepreneurs have taken to access the Cuban market and enjoy the island's tourist attractions.

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