Thaw in US ties boosts Cuban tourism by 13%

Published on : Tuesday, January 3, 2017

cuban-tourismCuban tourism has achieved beyond its goals for 2016 as about four million tourists from different countries have visited the country. According to Cuban Tourism Officials, the influx of foreign tourists by the millions has broken previous tourism records. The Ministry of Tourism said this record-breaking number has increased tourism by 13 percent compared to 2015.

According to WTOC, Cuba owes its tourism growth to the warming ties of US-Cuban relations — partially. The Ministry of Tourism said Europe and North American tourists flocked into Cuban cities and retreats in high numbers. A ministry official said the increase in its number of tourists would mean better quality of service and efficiency, and consistent maintenance of vacation spots and historic sites Western travelers frequent.

According to Special Correspondent Amy Guttman, the country’s hospitality industry saw higher demand for quality hotels from American tourists. Guttman said Cuba’s accommodations have “a lot of catching up to do,” mentioning several hotels that were “abandoned or frozen in time.” She added that there exists 63,000 hotel rooms in the country — each with poor service and maintenance quality.

Guttman said the Cuban government — likely as part of its endeavor to improve its services and efficiency industry — is to “double” the island’s hotel capacity by 2020 but the government may also see competition from American-brand AirBnB that allows online bookings for transient homes and rooms of quality for less. Other competition includes France’s Sofitel, Switzerland’s Kempinski and the American chain of hotels the Starwood Group.

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