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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: A New Actor for Tourism

The launch of the city of Gibara as a new tourist product incorporates a new actor into Cuba's leisure industry with attractive options for domestic and foreign vacationers.

Also known as Villa Blanca (White Village), Gibara has a large portfolio of options, including the inauguration hotels and cultural and recreational facilities of high patrimonial values.

These options are available in the recently-restored hotels Ordoño, Arsenita and Plaza Colón, as well as in the bars La Loja, Siglo XX and Ocio Club.

As an element to be highlighted is the fact that the original constructive designs of these buildings were taken into consideration during the restoration works.

The objective is that Gibara can show characteristics that are similar to those of other tourist destinations like Viñales, Trinidad, Remedios, Camagüey, Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa.

The two-century city, whose name comes from the aboriginal word Jibá, offers a rich history and culture according to the lineage of its foundation, as well as a beautiful and exuberant landscape.

Hotel Ordoño. Facade
Hotel Ordoño. Facade
Hotel Ordoño. Lobby

The foundation of the port favored Gibara's economic splendor, so it became the second walled city in Cuba, as it was necessary to build military fortresses to protect the village from the attacks of corsairs and pirates.

In 1853, the Parochial Church of San Fulgencio was inaugurated. According to experts, that event was a landmark in the architectural styles that prevailed in Gibara until that year.

The city has a main park, named Calixto Garcia Iñiguez, and the former Arms Square, whose center holds a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, which was built by Italian sculptors with funds collected from the people.

The statue is dedicated to the entry of the troops led by Colonel Cornelio Rojas on July 25, 1898, and symbolizes the independence from the Spanish yoke.

Among the city's prominent sites are the Mothers' Park and the Culture Square, in addition to buildings of high architectural values like the Museum of Decorative Arts, which is on the second floor of one of the most significant neoclassic domestic constructions in Gibara.

The institution exhibits one of the country's most important collections of its kind, including the largest stained-glass windows in eastern Cuba.

In addition to the Parochial Church, the Old Venue of the Spanish Casino is another major building in the city.

As an additional element, just four dozens kilometers from Gibara is Bariay, the place where Christopher Columbus landed on October 27, 1492. That site is a symbol of the encounter between the cultures from the Old and the New Worlds.

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