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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Foreign Companies Invest in Tourism

Cuba's tourism industry, a key engine in the national economy, promotes the presence of foreign companies with a view to taking advantage of their experience and knowledge of the international market.

The new investment scheme give foreign companies that operate or are interested in managing tourist facilities in the country the option of negotiating greater contract with Cuban owners in order to recover their investment in a shorter term.

In addition, Cuba offers sun and beach options of great attractions, with dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches with warm crystal-clear waters.

Add to this the growing presence of the non-state sector, with which travel agencies have signed contracts with 2,000 owners of private accommodations, 400 restaurants and 900 transporters.

The predominant modality in the hotel branch consists of administration and commercialization contracts with internationally-renowned companies.

At the end of the third quarter of 2019, 98 contracts had been approved for a total of 46,855 rooms in 124 hotels run by 20 foreign firms.

Paraíso Beach.
Sirena Beach.
Sirena Beach.

Of the aforementioned agreements, 11 were linked to loan contracts as a means of obtaining external financing that will facilitate the renovation and updating of the hotel plant.

Eleven of the companies present in Cuba are from Spanish, and they run up to 70 percent of the hotels that operate under foreign administration.

The remaining firms have their headquarters in Canada, France, Singapore, Indonesia, Italy, the United States, India, Mexico and Switzerland.

Melia Hotels International is the leader, with 37 hotels, including 11 in Varadero, Cuba's major coastal resort.

Spain's Iberostar Hotels and Resorts is the second major investor in Cuba's tourism sector with 25 establishments, followed by Canada's Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts in the third place with 17 facilities.

Sixty-five percent of the hotels under management contracts are on coastal resorts, and up to 35 percent are in the city.

Varadero, Havana, Cayos de Villa Clara and Jardines del Rey concentrate 77 percent, the others are located on the north coast of Holguin, Gibara, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Camagüey, Cayo Largo del Sur and Jibacoa.

Tourism is present in more than 100 identified development projects, with a potential of nearly 400,000 rooms, although in practice only 17 percent of that figure is in operation.

The proposed options for recreation and rest in Cuba are based on the existence of several natural, historic and cultural sites, thus extending their influence throughout the archipelago.

Cuba also has some 120 art galleries, antique shops and visual arts halls, together with some 260 museums of the most varied manifestations, as well as more than 80 multipurpose theaters.

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