U.S. hotel chain executives meet with Cuban officials

Posted: 03-Oct-15 12:39

Major U.S. hotel chains are moving forward in their efforts to develop properties in Cuba, after executives held recent talks with Cuba officials. Since Washington loosened its ties on the operations of U.S firms operating on the island, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Carlson Hospitality have held talks.

U.S. hotel chain executives meet with Cuban officials

Executives from major U.S hotel chains have been in talks with Cuban officials in a move to bring forward the development of new hotels and resorts on the island.

Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide Resorts, and Carlson Hospitality Group, owners of the Radisson chain, have all met with Cubans officials in recent months, following resumed diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba.

Ted Middleton, the Senior Vice President of development in Latin America for Hilton, commented:

"We're all very interested. When legally we're allowed to do so we all want to be at the start-line ready to go."

U.S. hoteliers are currently prohibited from investing in Cuba, and U.S. tourists are also not allowed to visit the island unless they meet special criteria such as being Cuban-Americans or take part in special cultural "people to people" programmes or educational trips that come under 12 licenced categories.

In order to do business in Cuba, foreign companies have to partner with a Cuban entity, and if U.S restrictions are lifted, the same rules are expected to be applied for U.S. hoteliers.

In July this year, embassies opened in Havana and Washington for the first time since the United States cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba following Fidel Castro's revolution in In 1961. The years that followed saw an economic embargo imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

According to data released by tourism professor Jose Luis Perello of the University of Havana, this year, more than 106,000 American travellers have visited Cuba, a significant increase compared to the 91,254 U.S visitors during the whole of 2014.

Cuba is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea, east of Mexico and south of the United States. The communist country is rich in political history and boasts some of the world's most magnificent natural landscapes such as white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and the world's second largest barrier reef, as well as the Spanish Colonial city of Trinidad and the historic capital Havana.


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