New water parks in the pipeline for Havana and Varadero

Posted: 07-Dec-17 08:08

Cuba is prioritising the construction of completely new recreational options in a bid to expand and diversity its tourism offer. This is why the Cuban tourism authorities included the construction of two water parks in Havana and Varadero to its 2018 investment portfolio. Also in the pipeline are projects like the creation of new nature and adventure parks, as well as the refurbishment of existing attractions in already popular tourism enclaves.

New water parks in the pipeline for Havana and Varadero

According to a new release by ACN (Agencia Cubana de Noticias) Cuba’s MINTUR (Ministry of Tourism) has added the construction of two new water parks in Havana and Varadero to its 2018 portfolio of investment opportunities for foreign companies. As part of a group of projects for the further development of Cuba’s recreational infrastructure, the new investment proposals are mainly aimed at enhancing both national and international tourism options outside of hotel construction.

Cuban tourism company Palmares S.A. has at least eight new proposals in next year’s investment plans to attract foreign financing. Among these projects the construction of two water parks stand out, one in Varadero; Cuba’s largest beach resort, and the other possibly on the outskirts of Havana, with specialists studying the potential of Habana del Este’s popular beaches.

As revealed by Jose R. Daniel Alonso, general director of Investment, Development at MINTUR, the new Varadero water park would be located some 140 km from the capital city of Havana, while the second one would be in the city’s coastal area, with the Instituto de Planificacion Fisica (Physical Planning Institute) currently studying the possibilities on where best to place it. Havana’s new water park, would also be built for the enjoyment of local habaneros, who have never before enjoyed such facilities.

Also for the first time in Cuban history, it was revealed that MINTUR’s new investment folder is also contemplating the inclusion of two projects for the construction of nature and adventure parks, to be located in Canasi, in the province of Mayabeque (some 50 km from Havana and less than 45 minutes from the capital’s heart) and the other in Bahia de Naranjo, in the eastern province of Holguin, an enclave already popular for being home to the tranquil Guardalavaca beaches and an open-sea dolphin enclosure enabling visitors to swim with these fascinating sea creatures.

The running of these newly proposed attractions would be through a contract allowing the foreign administration of services with financing, a new modality offered to foreign companies with the opening up of Cuban economy over the last few years.

Using the same financing modality, the 2018 Cuba investment portfolio also includes two business opportunities for the expansion of marinas in Varadero and Santiago de Cuba. Furthermore, there are also projects for the incorporation of new technologies, the refurbishment of Parque Josone and the Plaza America complex, both in Varadero, as well as to enhance the leisure options in Havana’s Hotel Comodoro.

The priority, however, according to Alonso is being placed on the diversification of Cuba’s recreational and tourism option beyond sun and sea, in a quest to position the Cuban product in a wider international scope and thus accelerate its development.

Foreign investment is crucial for Cuba’s socioeconomic development, and as such the newly renovated portfolio includes a total of 140 projects, 34 of which are for the construction of new hotels. Cuba is expecting to welcome a total of 4.7 million tourists this year, a record-breaking figure that looks well on its way of being accomplished despite Hurricane Irma’s many setbacks. Last 26th November Cuban tourism authorities had announced the island had already welcomed 4.2 million visitors.

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