Spain in talks with Cuba to secure hotel investment on the island

Posted: 30-Jul-15 19:16

The Spanish tourism minister Jose Manuel Soria has revealed that Spain is in talks with Cuba to secure hotel and infrastructure agreements. The Caribbean island is opening up to foreign investors as part of a plan to modernise the country and Cuban authorities are looking to increase the number of hotels and resorts.

Spain in talks with Cuba to secure hotel investment on the island

Jose Manuel Soria, the Spanish Tourism Minister, is in talks with the Cuban authorities to secure infrastructure and hotel agreements with the island.

Cuba is looking for foreign investment estimating at more than $2 billion a year to modernise the country and increase the number of hotels and resorts. In interview with the press Mr Soria explained:

"The Cuban government told me of the objective for 30,000 new tourist beds. Apart from tourism, they will need generating plants, new electricity grids, new infrastructure, roads and airports, and Spanish companies are well situated."

Spain already operates travel companies in Cuba, such as Iberia and Air Europa airlines that offers the Madrid to Havana service, and hotel companies including Melia, Blau, Iberostar, NH Hotel Group SA and RIU Hotels SA.

Commenting on this visit Angel Talavera, an economist for London's Oxford Economics, explained the significance of these events, he said:

"Despite the multiple historical and cultural ties between the two countries, diplomatic relationships with Cuba have been rather frosty for years. This may signal a change in attitude from the Spanish government, probably concerned about losing investment opportunities and economic influence in favour of America."

Cuba and the United States have recently resumed diplomatic relations following five decades of hostilities, and travel restrictions to Cuba have been eased but not yet removed for American travellers. Last week, embassies were opened in Washington in the United States and Havana in Cuba.

Cuba is still restricted for general tourism for U.S travellers but they can travel to the island through people to people programmes and trips within 12 categories that are organised by tour operators and charter companies in the U.S.

Situated in the Caribbean Sea, south of the United States, the country is home to popular tourist destinations such as the historic capital city, Havana; the picturesque Jardines del Rey archipelago which boasts virgin cays, turquoise ocean waters and coral reefs; the Spanish Colonial city of Trinidad; and the popular beach resort of Varadero with 21 kilometres of coastline and pristine white sandy beaches.


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