HAVANA, CMC – Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero, says the island will reach the over four million tourist mark by the end of this year.
5,000 new rooms
Marrero who was speaking during a recent meeting with tour operators, travel agents, airline representatives and media in Milan, Italy, said as part of the island’s tourism development plan, there will soon be 5,000 new rooms including the recently opened Packard and the International Hotel Varadero, which will open soon.
The Tourism Minister comments came as part of Italy’s actions for opening the 2018/19 winter season. He took the opportunity to remind participants that Italy has always remained among the top 10 tourism markets for Cuba.
He announced that by 2019 another 5,250 rooms are expected to be completed, and said the government is planning to build a new five-star luxury hotel in Cayo Largo.
Marrero stressed that Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism supports the expansion of hotel management contracts between Italian groups and national chains, and said the ministry has worked hard on to raise the quality of the destination.
Modernization of Jose Marti Airport
He recalled that a contract has already been approved with the company Aeropuertos de París (ADP) for the modernization and subsequent administration of the José Martí International Airport in Havana.
He added that Cuba, as a tourist destination, has designed and is implementing a strategy for its digital transformation in order to maintain its competitiveness at a global level and fundamentally in the Caribbean region. To this end, a new official portal was published in the domain www.cuba.travel, developed on a platform of digital marketing and electronic commerce, which will become the main Internet channel to get to know Cuba.
Accelerating WI-FI coverage
According to Marrero, intensive work is being done to accelerate the deployment of Wi-Fi coverage in tourist facilities, in order to offer Internet access as part of the tourist package. In the case of hotels, he said, it is planned to cover all common areas, rooms and even reach the beach.
He commented that to date 147,900 Italian tourists have been received in the country, and although it represents a decrease over the previous year, and expressed confidence that the development of joint and timely actions will ensure a good winter season with this market.