Spanish companies to invest more in tourism development in Cuba

Posted: 11-Apr-16 18:36

Since the 1990s Spain has been an important partner for Cuba in the development of the tourism sector, but given that new opportunities have been created for foreign investments in the island since 2014, more companies are expressing their intentions to set up new businesses there. This month the Globalia group announced new commercial agreements with authorities of the Caribbean country.

Spanish companies to invest more in tourism development in Cuba

Recent press reports speak about a “Spanish offensive” in Cuba, pointing out that investors are rushing to the island to maintain their privileged position as one of government’s main partners in the development of the tourism sector. Following the examples of Iberostar and Meliá, other Spanish companies have plans to open new resorts, which will have to compete with hotels and other facilities managed by American investors.

Globalia has duplicated its presence in the island since it was announced by President Barack Obama that U.S. enterprises would be allowed to do business in the Cuban tourist sector. Partnering with Air Europe, the group will inaugurate a new flight route between Madrid and Varadero this July, thus covering the most important destination for tourist looking for sun and beach fun in Cuba.

But the big announcement from Globalia this month was that they will open their third hotel in Varadero. With 365 rooms, the new Be Live Experience Varadero will be operating as an all-inclusive, like virtually every other hotel in the popular eastern beach resort. The Globalia group also manages the Be Live Las Morlas and the Be Live Experience Turquesa resorts, also located in Varadero.

Juan José Hidalgo, president of the company, said to Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, that his team is preparing a mega-project in Cuba, which includes the construction of a massive resort near Havana, the capital city. The group’s latest and biggest ambition is to build a golf course there. Globalia counts on more than 20 years of experience in the island and, in the words of their president, they will continue betting on this destination.

“Every possible opportunity in the tourism sector will be studied. We have been on the island for many years and we will keep moving forward”, said Hidalgo.

Spanish companies manage 90 per cent of rooms in five-star hotels on the island and a 60 percent in four-star hotels. While Meliá celebrated its 25th anniversary on the Caribbean country with the largest number of rooms for a foreign partner last year, Iberostar and Barceló were also announcing their intentions to open new resorts in Cuba.

The number of Spanish visitors arriving on the island increased by nearly 40 per cent in 2015. Further agreements between tourist groups, European airlines and Cuban authorities could imply an even more considerable increase in the number of holidaymakers.


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