More than 200 global hotel chains that include Marriot, Hilton, Wyndham, Hyatt and IHG are considering Cuba as the next destination for luxury tourism. Cuba can become the second luxury tourist destination in the region after Mexico.
According to Arturo Garcia, president of South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, Cuba can expect the arrival of 12 million tourists in the coming years. Should this happen, it will be unprecedented and will require organization and infrastructure. Global companies must be involved on the development of the tourism industry in the country.
Senior executives of hotel chains who attended the 2-day conference in Havana hope that there will more investments for Cuba’s tourism industry. However, in spite of the presence of the heavy weights in the hotel industry, the economic sanctions imposed by the United States on Cuba make it difficult to negotiate future deals.
Starwood which is one of the biggest hospitality chains in the world is the only US-based company that is managing a hotel in the island. The 186-room Four Points by Sheraton Havana which is located in the capital’s classy Miramar neighbourhood started its operations in June 2016.
Nevertheless, in spite of the economic sanctions, there are 110 development projects in the tourism sector that are open to foreign investors. The portfolio of business opportunities will diversify tourism products, attract high standard or luxury sectors and extend the hotel offerings to the real estate industry particularly developments that are associated with golf courses, marinas and theme parks.
Important infrastructure projects that are currently on the development stage include luxury hotels in Havana and the expansion of beach resorts in beach destinations that include Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria and Holguin. However, the developments are not enough because once American tourists increase sevenfold by 2025; current infrastructure will be under strain.
World travellers who are looking for a different experience can try Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. If hotel location is a priority, hotel in Sukhumvit is ideally located right in the heart of the city and walking distance to different points of interest. Embassies and major financial establishments are easily accessible.