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

Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, is marked by a sharp increase in tourism in recent years that draws the interest of a broad spectrum of foreign hotel chains, attracted by the potential in the archipelago for leisure.

The rise of various forms of tourism is also based on changes in the scenario of the region, with emphasis on the process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States.

Although are still restrictions for US citizens to travel to the island, subject to 12 authorized categories, the first quarter of 2016 left a figure close to 100,000 Americans in the island.

In this environment, the behavior of the activity exposed the need for large investments to increase capacity and non-hotel accommodation facilities.

Under these premises, the authorities aim to incorporate to the island about 108,000 new rooms in the 2016-2030 period, including 30,000 developed under foreign-investments.

Precedents for such an alternative exist, because at present there are 17 foreign hotel chains operating in the archipelago with 83 establishments, of which 98 percent are four and five star categories.

Meliá Las Antillas. Bird`s eye view
Meliá Las Antillas. Lobby
View of Meliá Las Américas Hotel.

Of these, 11 are managed by Spanish corporations and represent 65 percent of the associates in the country, managing 72 percent of hotels operating under this system.

By names, Meliá leads the sector with 28 hotels on its administration portfolio and 13,480 rooms, accompanied by the Canadian Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts, owned by the company Sunwing Travel Group, with 15 hotels and 8, 472 rooms.

Even the Starwood American took the opening and signed an agreement which incorporates the Hotel Inglaterra (the oldest of the island, owned by Gran Caribe) to its line The Luxury Collection, and Quinta Avenida Habana (Gaviota Group) to Four Point By Sheraton.

In the list of manager’s chains in Cuba are also included, among others, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, H10 Hotels, Blau Hotels and Resorts, Warwick International Hotels and Resorts, Accor, Valentin, BlueBay, Barceló, Be Live, Roc, Pestana and SuperClubs.

The investment portfolio includes 127 potential new opportunities, of which 25 include hotel developments, 97 Contracts Management and Hotel Marketing in new and existing facilities; as well as five management contracts and marketing services in marinas.

The historic center of the capital, which has 1,900 rooms spread over 28 hotels, in the short term should add about 2,600 capabilities in 24 facilities, of which 13 will be five-star.

In addition, Habaguanex S.A., which is in charge of tourism in Old Havana, can arrange business involving international financing for the rehabilitation of buildings of high heritage value.

Business opportunities extend to the facilities that complement tourism, including golf courses, marinas, recreation centers and food.

Under these assumptions, the Greater Antilles higher figures consolidates the three million international visitors per year, with prospects for growth to improvements in air connectivity with the main markets and the expansion of the cruise mode.

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