Cuba plans hotels expansion with international companies

Posted: 02-Nov-16 12:11

Following the resumed diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, hotel development companies from the U.S have been rushing to enter the hotel market in Cuba. The Caribbean island is experiencing a significant increase in international visitors, and Cuban tourism officials are making plans to expand hotel offerings across the country to keep up with demand.

Cuba plans hotels expansion with international companies

Cuba has become one of the world’s most popular travel destinations following its recent resumed relations with the United States. As the number of international tourist arrivals increases, industry leaders are keen to expand hotel offerings on the island to keep up with demand.

Since the beginning of the diplomatic talks between the two countries, U.S-based hotel companies have been keen to enter the hotel market in Cuba. The Cuban government is receiving a high number of contract requests from international brands for the construction of new hotels across the country.

Vice Minister of Tourism Luis Miguel Díaz Sánchez, explained:

“This year we need to start 4,500 hotel rooms, that’s our plan for each year—no less than 4,500 rooms per year. We have connected through international airports to more than 60 cities (around the world). Several new U.S. airlines will be (adding) Cuban flights.”

The tourism minister said that, last year international visitors to Cuba increased by 500,000, and numbers are expected to rise by another million over the next two years. The majority of tourists originate from Canada, Germany, the United States, France and the United Kingdom. Following the recent changes to the Cuba-U.S travel embargo, the number of travellers from the United States is expected to rise significantly over the coming months.

Diaz Sanchez added that between 2016 and 2030, more than 224 new hotels are expected to be built in Cuba. Many of the properties will be built in key cities like Havana, as well as new hotels that focus on ecotourism and health tourism in other regions. Several international hotel brands have already established themselves in Cuba, and Cuban officials are currently in talks with U.S-based companies, who are new to the country’s tourism market.

Earlier this year, the Four Seasons Havana (formerly the Hotel Quinta Avenida) opened to guests, making it the first hotel to be managed by a U.S company in more than five decades. Operated by the then-franchisor Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the hotel is operated in partnership with the Cuban Gaviota Hotel Group, which is largely owned by the Cuban military.

Cuba is also looking to work with international companies to develop new golf courses, theme parks and water parks. The nation’s infrastructure is also being improved, and there are plans to expand main airports and build new highways. 


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