Private sector proves to be a key element in Cuba's tourism industry

Posted: 11-Aug-16 13:33

Cuba's private sector has been on the rise since 2010, when the government decided to allow small businesses in order to improve the nation's economy. Today, the rising number of private-owned lodgings and restaurants are contributing significantly to the island's tourism industry and becoming a true driving force within the economy.

Private sector proves to be a key element in Cuba's tourism industry

With over 16,000 guest rooms and over 1,700 excellent restaurants, there is no question that Cuba's private sector is thriving and becoming a key element within the nation's tourism industry and economy in general. Manuel Marrero, Cuba's Minister of Tourism has announced the institution's decision to unify numbers obtained in the public and private sectors in order to truly illustrate the development of the tourism industry in the island and evaluate the results.

These small businesses have made a deep impact and greatly contributed to the growth of tourism in the past few years. According to statistics revealed by the Cuba's Ministry of Tourism, one fourth of all foreign tourists that visited Cuba during 2015, stayed at "casas particulares" (Cuban version of BandB's, usually private-owned houses that rent one or several rooms to visitors), summing up a total of 555,000 travellers.

In comparison, Cuban hotels managed by foreign hotel chains, state-owned companies or mixed enterprises, count a total of 83,000 rooms. Nonetheless, many deals have already been made to increase the number of hotels and resorts within the island, and ambitious plans seek to reach 108,000 rooms by 2030. Cuba has been registering positive numbers in the last couple of years, with an impressive 11.7% growth in tourist arrivals during the first half of 2016. Just last year, the island's tourism industry championed a profit of over $2.8 billion.

Newly re-established diplomatic bonds with the United States of America have also played an important role in this growth. Since travel restrictions to Cuba were loosened allowing twelve categories of legal travel, many Americans, including A-listers like Paris Hilton and Bon Jovi, have been rushing to visit Cuba that was off-limits for over fifty years. The number of US citizens that have visited the island hovers around 700,000 tourists, an amount that increases by the minute.

Ever since current president Raul Castro announced reforms to the government's paternalistic approach towards employment, the private sector has been taking Cuba by storm. From the moment these new reforms were officially applied in 2010 to modernise the island's economic model, many private enterprises have been flourishing state-wide, especially in the capital, Havana.

In the last three to five years Cuba has seen a drastic increase in private businesses, from paladares (private restaurants) that can rival any restaurant of its kind elsewhere in the world, to lively and quirky bars with live entertainment, as well as private accommodation of all kinds and found in all categories, going well beyond the early basic "casas particulares" which were more like homestays that were once limited to spare rooms rented within a Cuban household. Tourists can now choose from the largest and most luxurious houses with pools and seaside views to a simpler yet charming room in Old Havana.

As authorities have admitted, it is certain Cuba's private sector is a true driving force within the industry, with promising prospects of growth and development in years to come.


Popular Holidays in cuba

OUR EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND LATEST OFFERS

Best Value

From £599 per person
villa pinares de mayari

Villa Pinares De Mayari

4.0 stars

Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £629 per person
villa mirador de mayabe

Villa Mirador De Mayabe

2.0 stars

This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
sercotel club cayo guillermo

Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo

3.0 stars

The perfect haven for lovers of nature in its purest state, the Villa Cojimar hotel sits in an idyllic location amidst...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
club amigo atlantico guardalavaca

Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca

3.0 stars

Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
tryp cayo coco

Tryp Cayo Coco

4.0 stars

The perfect beach holiday awaits you the all-inclusive Tryp Cayo Coco hotel, where non-stop entertainment and utmost...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £699 per person
memories holguin

Memories Holguin

4.0 stars

Enjoy a perfect beach setting while you unwind in the historic sands of the all-inclusive Memories Holguin. A short...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation

More deals


Explore cuba your way

Tailor made cuba holidays

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace or to explore places not included in the brochure itineraries, we have years of experience at organising tailor-made holidays.

Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists

Our expert tour consultants will be pleased to suggest ideas to complement your own and to organise the most appropiate programme to suit your interests, time and budget.

Call 0207 644 1600
to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

If you would like a member of our team to contact you back, please click here Contact us