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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: A Strategy to Grow

The sustained growth of the tourism industry in Cuba, with annual statistics of more than four million foreign visitors, poses the challenge to continue to grow.

The portfolio of business opportunities in the tourism sector contains nearly 140 projects, including 34 that are linked to the establishment of joint ventures to develop new hotels and villas.

The projects are concentrated in territories where tourism is developing, like Cienfuegos (two), Camagüey (four), Las Tunas (six) and Holguín (ten), among others.

In addition, there are 96 proposals to administer and commercialize hotels in tourist destinations such as Pinar del Río, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), Varadero (Matanzas), Villa Clara, Ciego de Avila, Granma and Santiago de Cuba.

Nearly 30 joint ventures are administering 4,505 rooms distributed in four- and five-star hotels throughout Cuba.

Besides, 20 international hotel chains have signed 88 contracts to run 43,252 rooms, accounting for 63.6 percent of the country's rooms.

Cayo Naranjo`s Aquarium
Replica of Taino Village
Town of Banes

Current plans envisage the incorporation of 14 hotels in a short term that will contribute 2,000 rooms, mainly in Havana (four establishments).

Undoubtedly, Havana, the Cuban capital and the largest city in the country, plays a special role in the development plans, as new plots of lands are being evaluated to build hotels.

Nine projects are under evaluation to increase Havana's accommodation capacity, including one that the group Cubanacán is negotiating with a Vietnamese company in the neighborhood of El Vedado.

Official statistics show that at present, Havana, Cuba's major point of arrival for foreign tourists, offers 12,115 rooms in 64 hotels and 11,552 rooms in private houses.

Regarding golf, an agreement was signed to set up the joint venture Carbonera S.A., which will invest nearly 350 million dollars in a project.

In southern Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus, development prospects combine beaches and nature and health tourism in a coastal zone of about 90 kilometers.

Thirty specialized diving centers operate through the country, providing initiation courses and diving in coral reefs and caverns, under strict international standards demanded for that activity.

Scuba diving and snorkeling benefits from an average water temperature of more than 24 degrees Celsius, in addition to a horizontal visibility that many times exceeds 30 meters.

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