New travel fair increases opportunities for developing Cuba's tourism industry

Posted: 06-Jun-16 11:34

The first edition of Hostel Cuba 2016 - a fair oriented towards consolidating the links between local and foreign companies investing in the tourism sector - took place in Havana last May. The Caribbean island, where tourism is one of the most important sectors of the economy, will be hosting this event every two years, as it will also contribute to promoting Cuba as a privileged and authentic holiday destination.

New travel fair increases opportunities for developing Cuba's tourism industry

Last month Cuba held the first ever edition of a new tourism fair - Hostel Cuba 2016, a big event aimed at introducing cutting-edge technology and equipment in the booming local tourism industry, most of it provided by Spanish companies which have a regular presence in big internationals fairs like FIRA Barcelona.

Over the course of three days, entrepreneurs, Cuban government officials and FIRA representatives discussed the viability of introducing new products to the Cuban hospitality sector, ranging from hospitality equipment, management software, computing control and security tools to equipment and products for laundry and cleaning services, textiles and uniforms, and technology and gear for wellness and fitness.

The Cuban Vice-Minister of Tourism, Alexis Trujillo, said at the opening of Hostel Cuba 2016:

“The world now and the current trends in the industry need to rely on technologies that can guarantee safety, professionalism, sustainability and development. This commercial event takes place in a positive environment, thus announcing a promising future”.

Ricard Zapatero, director of FIRA Barcelona International, explained that the presence of Spanish companies in the fair, and the participation of the institution that he represents are aimed at supporting Cuba in its insertion in major international events which have a huge economic impact.

Zapatero stated:

“This country has everything to become one of the most important destinations for professional events in the world. Our purpose, jointly with PALCO (the biggest Cuban company organising international events) is to boost this project, relying on the collaboration with different governmental institutions and ministries”.

In Hostel Cuba 2016, Cuban officials also announced that by 2030 the island would have 108,000 new hotel rooms, ready to welcome the increasing number of tourist arriving to the island.

Since January this year, more than 572,000 visitors have landed in the country, which represents a 37 percent increase compared to the same period in 2015. The number of Americans arriving in Cuba has increased by 94% in 2016 as well. Last year a total of 3.5 million holidaymakers visited the country.

At present, the number of hotel rooms in the Caribbean nation is humble (62,000 in hotels and 19,000 privately-owned accommodation in the form of homestays or "casas particulares"), especially when compared with the estimated potential arrival of 10 million tourists to Cuba. A figure that depends on the lifting of a regulation that still prohibits American citizens from travelling to the island as tourists as part of the U.S. trade embargo.


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