Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New tourism investment planned (updated)

Cuba’s tourism minister Manuel Marrero Cruz says $320 million is available to invest in rehabilitation of hotels, construction of new hotels and resorts, and construction of golf courses, marinas, and theme parks. Part of the investment plan includes creation of new joint ventures with foreign investors, a new twist.

This article doesn’t say where he made this announcement, but came in the context of the week-long promotion that Cuba just concluded with foreign tour operators.

We’ll see where this goes; in Cuba there’s a big difference between announcement and execution of investment projects.

The minister is putting money behind priorities that his ministry has held for years. They are based on a recognition that long-term growth – especially into higher-end market segments – depends on diversifying Cuba’s tourism product through golf course construction and other projects. One element that strikes me as new is the emphasis on “revitalization” and “reconstruction” of hotels – an area where visitors note uneven investment.

If this plan is carried out, it’s one more sign that unlike five years ago, Cuba has working capital at its disposal.

[Update: More efforts to boost tourism reported on the Caribepreferente website: reduced airport services fees, landing fees, and aviation fuel prices, a promise of less red tape in Customs, highway repairs and installation of lots of highway signs.]

7 comments:

leftside said...

They understand multiplier effect too. I was amazed to read in your tourism report that Cuba had increased the amount of domestic products used in tourist hotels from something like 13% to 65%. Only socialism can do that...

Rob said...

Good catch. Interesting article. More propaganda or an actual business plan? Time will tell.

They should invest some in training the staff in Western hospitality.

Omar Cruz said...

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shinn said...

@Omar Cruz
I like this blog post too... I really appreciate your praxis on tourism as a viable long-term investment plan. There's a lot of reform to go if it is to succeed on its tourism endeavor.

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