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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Winds of Renovation for Tourism

Cuban leisure industry, converted several years ago into a dynamic element of the national economy, is facing new challenges to the sustained increase in the flow of visitors.

Geopolitical factors, especially the process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, brought tourism to a favorable setting overlooking its expansion.

The figures support the performance of the activity, since it close the first half of 2016 with 2.147.600 visitors.

That balance is equivalent to an annual growth of 11.7 percent, which in turn poses new challenges for the sector in infrastructure and services.

In addition, a new component is in the presence of visitors from the United States, which grew from January to June up to 83.9 percent.

Therefore, expansion of accommodation is part of ongoing actions, coupled with increased private sector, which holds 16,000 rooms and over 700 restaurants.

Sirena Beach.
Alameda de Paula (Paula Promenade)
Paula Church

Forecasts point to the creation of favorable conditions to maintain this upward trend, since the US already authorized commercial flights from 10 cities in the country to several Cuban destinations.

Thus eight airlines will begin offering a total of 20 daily flights back and forth in the coming months, starting from Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New Jersey, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa.

Washington´s decision benefited in particular commercial companies such as Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.

After the beginning of the process of normalization of relations between the two countries, in 2015 about 160,000 Americans traveled to the island, a figure that could be overcome in the current year.

In addition, growing investment projects in the tourism industry, including the construction of real estate, resorts and golf courses.

The latter mode must add in the near future various fields on the island, complemented by residential and recreation areas, in order to respond to the lovers of that sport.

Added to this, frontline hotel chains evaluate options to enter the Cuban market, taking into account the existing potential and the need to develop capacities in the short and medium term.

The new investment opportunities on the island include the possibility of linking foreign companies with financing the restoration of buildings for tourism purposes, as an alternative in the form of hotel management.

Under this type of business, foreign companies are interested in operating or managing tourist facilities in the country and may negotiate with contractual facilities with Cuban owners, in order to regain their investment in less time.

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