HAVANA, Cuba, November 12, 2018 (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.
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 made the intervention as part of Italy’s actions for the opening of the winter season, and took the opportunity to observe that Italy has always remained among the top 10 markets for Cuba in the tourism sector.
He announced that by 2019, another 5,250 rooms are expected to be completed, and said they are preparing to build a new five-star luxury hotel in Cayo Largo.
Marrero stressed that the island’s Ministry of Tourism supports the expansion of hotel management contracts, between Italian groups and national chains, and said they have worked hard on several aspects that contribute to raising the quality of the destination.
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.
He revealed that a site was developed and published for maps, www.cubamaps.cu, where, currently, more than 15,000 places of interest are located, and continue to geo-locate sites to reach the figure of 25,000.
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, the Wi-Fi service is being 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, expressed confidence that the development of joint and timely actions will ensure a good winter season with this market.