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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Tourism after the pandemic

The Cuban tourism industry, a key sector in the national economy, is preparing its reactivation after a period of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension of air routes, the evacuation of tourists staying in the country and the closure of borders aim to give way to a progressive recovery process.

In Cuba's case, the containment strategy also involved all tourism structures, including the suspension of operations in several hotels and the design of options for the domestic market in order to minimize the negative economic effect.

Reflecting control over the Covid-19 pandemic, Cuban authorities have defined a multi-phase strategy, which contemplates tourism activity.

Actually, tourism will resume operations in the first phase with the domestic market only, where options will be aimed at boosting this segment, and structures will be created to sale tourist options, including online reservations.

Meanwhile, for international tourism, which would gradually start up operations in the second phase, a special border protocol will be established, with emphasis on biosafety.

Excursion to Cayo Iguana.
Pier on Cayo Iguana.

This way, a PCR test will be made to each visitor to diagnose Covid-19 and temperature will be measured.

In addition to this, upon leaving the airport, the hotel will also be subject to health protocols, with clinical-epidemiological surveillance by a team made up of a doctor, a nurse and an expert in hygiene and epidemiology at each establishment.

As a new element, international tourism will resume only in the north and south keys, according to demand, including Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Cruz and Cayo Largo del Sur.

A separate paragraph deserves Varadero, Cuba's major coastal resort, which will begin to sell tourist options to domestic holidaymaker and will be divided "so that the international market does not mix with the local population".

Of course, no hotel will open at full capacity, since the objective is to maintain the distance between people, in a scenario where health is a priority.

In general, Cuba's tourism industry promotes the presence of foreign companies in order to take advantage of their experience and knowledge of the international market.

The new investment scheme allows foreign companies that operate or are interested in managing tourist facilities in the country the option of negotiating larger contractual facilities with Cuban owners, with a view to recovering their investment in a shorter period.

In addition, Cuba has one of the strongest attractions in its sun and beach options, with hundreds of kilometers of excellent beaches, and warm and crystal-clear waters.

The predominant modalities in the hotel branch are administration and marketing contracts with companies of recognized international prestige.

A dozen companies present in Cuba are based in Spanish, and they run up to 70 percent of the hotels that operate under a foreign administration regime.

Besides, 65 percent of the hotels under administration contracts respond are by the beach, and up to 35 percent are located in cities.

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