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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Tourisms and Events on National Agenda

Cuba, a major tourist destination in the Caribbean region, offers a wide range of options that combine nature, sun, beaches, history and culture with new elements such as events of all kinds.

The organization of specialized meetings and congresses has gained ground the Cuba's tourist agenda, taking advantage of the potential of a tourist segment that has grown steadily.

Cuba's broad program of events includes the International Trade Fair of Havana (FIHAV), which was first held in the 1980s.

With just a dozen companies and a permanent venue at PABEXPO, the dynamics of the event's development and investors' growing interest in Cuba's business opportunities changed the image of FIHAV.

That way, the fair is currently held at EXPOCUBA and its 32nd edition this year will be attended by companies from more than 60 countries.

Organizers even admitted limitations regarding the exhibition area inside the exhibition halls of EXPOCUBA due to an increase in participation by Cuban and foreign firms.

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Varadero Golf Club. General view of golf course
Varadero Golf Club. Caddy house

As a new element, Cuba will present its portfolio of projects to foreign investors.

Some 360 Cuban companies will have 5,000 square meters to exhibit their products and services for export in 170 stands.

The projects include the Mariel Development Zone and, for the first time, the Containers' Terminal in that Cuban port, among other new proposals.

Tourism will be among the sectors of interest for foreign investors, considering the facilities provided by new regulations on business in Cuba.

In that regard, the Spanish firm Meliá Hotels International, which has operated in Cuba for two decades and runs 26 hotels, stands out.

At the same time, the Swiss hotel group Kempinski, the oldest in Europe, will administer a future establishment of the Cuban group Gaviota S.A, in Havana, which is scheduled for inauguration in 2016.

Among the modalities with opportunities for development that Cuba's tourism authorities are promoting are, precisely, hotel administration and commercialization contracts.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism, 16 foreign hotel chains operate in Cuba, running 60 hotels that offer a total of 28,510 rooms.

In addition, an agreement was signed to set up the joint venture Carbonera S.A., which will develop a project of golf courses at a total investment of 350 million dollars.

In the south of Cienfuegos and Sancti Spíritus province, development prospects combine, in the same area of some 90 square kilometers, beaches, nature tourism and healthcare.

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