Boost in tourists to Cuba creates business, sparks development

Posted: 29-Feb-16 17:01

With more and more visitors arriving in Cuba, government leaders are realizing that the country does not have enough hotel rooms to accommodate the crowds. To keep up with the influx of travellers, many of which are coming from the United States, the Cuban government has plans to boost the number of hotel rooms in Cuba by one-third over the next few years.

Boost in tourists to Cuba creates business, sparks development

With a record-breaking number of tourists expected to arrive in Cuba in 2016, the Cuban government is making plans to boost the number of needed hotel rooms necessary to house the increased number of travellers.

In 2015 alone, the number of travellers arriving in Cuba was up more than 17-percent over the previous year. Specifically, U.S. visitors were up 77-percent during that same time period. That number excluded the many Cuban-Americans visiting the country.

To help handle the already increasing crowds of tourists, and those expected in the future, Cuban government leaders plan to increase the hotel rooms that exist over the next four years. The plan is to boost the number by one-third. According to an article printed by Lonely Planet, author Alex Landragin points out there are 63,000 state-run hotel rooms.

Under the plan discussed by the Cuban government, another 22,000 hotel rooms would be added by the year 2020 to help house expected new visitors in the future.

With a small supply of foreign-operated hotels, rooms book up quickly, sometimes well in advance. According to Landragin’s article, the state-run hotels are not able to currently keep up with the need.

Although it remains illegal for Americans tourists to visit Cuba solely for tourism, the 12 qualifications for travel to Cuba have now been widened. In late 2014 the United States eased up on economic sanctions against Cuba that had been in place for more than a half-century. According to Landragin, the arrival of tourists since then has grown at a substantial rate and it is more common now than in any other time over the past 55 years to see Americans walking the streets of Old Havana.

Landragin also points out a boost in Americans visiting Cuba may be what’s also boosting the cost of certain items in Cuba, like prepared meals, souvenirs and the cost of taking a taxi, all things that are commonly tied to outside visitors.

Landragin also points out the rising cost of something as simple as snapping a photograph with a local woman, clad in a colourful dress and smoking a cigar. All of this, the article presents, is already happening, though ferry service and commercial airline service from the United States to Cuba hasn’t even resumed yet. That will happen later this year.


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