Source: Cuban News Agency
July 13 2016
The construction of a five star hotel near the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana stands out among the new business proposals included in the portfolio of foreign investment of the Ministry of Tourism (Mintur).
Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero told ACN that this project is in response to (i) the growing demand for accommodation in the Cuban capital, increasingly popular among vacationers from around the world, and (ii) the increase in flights to Cuba.
He stressed that for the new installation variants already exist near the air terminal for its location, and said that building hotels in airport areas is common in other countries, which offers facilities for crews, flight delays or refueling stops.
1.7 million visitors arrived at the Jose Marti airport in 2015
Coming mainly from the United States, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany, one million 685,381 visitors arrived at the Jose Marti International Airport in 2015, representing an increase of 21 percent compared to the previous year.
Due to the growing interest in Cuba as a tourist destination, some airlines have strengthened their presence, like Air Berlin, which, since May, began two weekly flights between Düsseldorf and Havana.
Recently the U.S. Department of Transportation approved the requests of six local airlines to operate direct regular flights to Havana before the end of the year, even though American citizens cannot travel to Cuba as vacationers because of the restrictions of the blockade.
The need to increase room availability
Distributed in hotels and villas, Havana has 11,309 rooms, representing 20 percent of the accommodation capacity of the country, to which private services are also added.
According to Xonia Beltran, a Mintur representative in the area, in the anticipated new tourism landscape, existing capacity will be insufficient. Hence, the need for projects to increase the number of rooms, taking as a starting point the upgrading of hotels and the identification of new private accommodations along with a process of rigorous categorization.
For the upcoming winter season, the aim is to recover 14,000 accommodations, mainly in the Habana Libre, Riviera, Acuario hotels, and the reopening of The Old Man and the Sea.