HAVANA – More than 200 hotel firms from around the world met Monday at the SAHIC business forum in Havana to explore the possibilities of investing in the tourism sector in the Caribbean region, where Cuba is one of the destinations with the most growth potential over the coming years.
Cuba already reached the threshold of 2 million visitors at the beginning of May – 39 days before it did last year – which signifies a growth of 15 percent and a good overall trend for the year 2017, when it is expected to break the existing record of 4 million tourists, Tourism Deputy Minister Alexis Trujillo said at the event’s inauguration ceremony.
The deputy minister told the executives of the hotel groups taking part the event, such as Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, IHG, Hyatt, JLL, Choice, Archipelago International and Ascend, that Cuba has a portfolio of business opportunities for foreign capital, including 110 projects of “hotel administration and the renovation of rooms while increasing their number and quality standards.”
“This portfolio is also aimed at diversifying the island’s touristic product, with new offers of the highest standards and the extension of non-hotel infrastructure with real estate developments associated with golf courses, sea resorts and high tech theme parks,” Trujillo said.
The deputy minister recalled that Cuba already has infrastructures in the works for developing new tourism magnets like the Ramon de Antilla Peninsula in Holguin province, Cayo Cruz island in Camaguey, and Cayo Paredon island in Ciego de Avila.
In early May, Cuba held its Tourism Fair in the eastern province of Holguin, where it launched as tourism products the town of Gibara and the beach at Guardalavaca, to diversify the island’s tourism offer by developing the resort farthest from Havana and Varadero.
Arturo Garcia, president of SAHIC (South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference), said that Cuba has the potential to become the number two destination in Latin America, trailing only Mexico, with the expected arrival of 12 million visitors.