Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cuban Tourism Articles

Major Cruise Lines Hold Meeting in Cuba (+Photos)

Havana, Nov 28 (Prensa Latina) The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) began today a two-day meeting in this capital city as part of its foray into Cuban tourism.

Due to the boom of tourism in Cuba, CLIA organized at the Parque Central Hotel in Havana the first symposium on cruise journeys, in which the main managers of 12 cruise companies, especially from the United States, participate.

Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade, Investment and Foreign Collaboration, mentioned in the opening ceremony the benefits and potential of Cuba for cruise ships, as well as the details to be targeted by business with this country.

The meeting was also attended by minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero and head of the General Direction of the United States of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Josefina Vidal.

Amid the companies participating in the meeting are American Cruise Line, Virgin Voyager, Carnival Corporation and Pic, Holland American Line, Carinval Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruises Linea Holgings, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Club Cruises.

The meeting is also attended by Silversea Cruises, Celestyal Cruises and Disney Cruises Line.

Currently, the companies Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holding (NCLH) and Pearl Seas LLP, are operating in Cuba with results considered by authorities as mutually beneficial.

Spokespeople said that Cuba seeks to implement a large program of port infrastructure targeting cruise activities in different ports of the country.

They also said that the economic and commercial blockade set up by the United States against Cuba for more than 50 years hinder the development in this field, as well as others in the country.

Cuban tourism has had a steady rising trend in the most recent years, while envisaging an increased number of hotel rooms, reaching 130,000 ones in the next 10 years.

Cuba is expected to be visited by the unprecedented total number of 4.7 million foreign tourists in 2017.

These sources also pointed out that Cuban ports and their terminals are certified according to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

Cuban authorities have also signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with nine port authorities in the United States (Virginia, Louisiana, Lake Charles and New Orleans, Alabama, Gulf Port, Pascagoula, Houston and Cleveland).

Until late October 2017, a steady flow of tourists aboard cruise ships was reported, with the main docking port in Havana, a city that has been already visited by 28 cruise ships, with more than 270 port calls.

A report issued on November 4th by the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, Inc.,headquartered in New York, indicated that three U.S. cruise companies, which include Cuba in their journeys, will have incomes of $ 623 million USD from 2017 to 2019.

According to that report, the 286 trips to Cuba expected to be made in those years by Norwegian Cruises Lines (NCL), Carnival and Royal Caribbean will carry 455,000 passengers.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is made up of the 25 most important cruise lines in the United States, and it is the largest cruise association in the world, seeking constantly promotion and development.

Cuba Close to 4,7 Million Tourist Arrivals
Havana, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuba had by November 26 some 4,2 million tourist arrivals, and tourism authorities expect to close 2017 with more than 4,7 million, the president of Viajes Cuba travel agency, Jose Manuel Bisbe, told here Wednesday representatives of important cruise lines.

Bisbe told foreign executives of the largest cruise companies who are meeting in Havana with tourism authorities that 248,000 travelers visited the Island from the U.S. in 2016, compared to this year's 573,000 despite hurdles put up by the administration of Donald Trump.

After highlighting that safety and hospitality are two of the island's values, Bisbe recalled that Cuba has 9 World Heritage sites, 14 National Parks and 257 National Monuments, besides Biosphere Reserves, with a yearly increase of 10 percent in tourist arrivals.

He added there are 68,000 hotel rooms, 69 percent of hotels is ranked as four and five stars and Cuban tourism authorities are carrying out 140 investment projects that include new hotels, properties development associated to golf courses and there is a favorable foreign investment law.

Bisbe further said there are 20 foreign hotel chains with 88 establishments operating in Cuba, representing almost 65 percent of the total, and 27 joint ventures operate 4,500 four and five stars rooms.

The tourist executive envisioned that Cuba hope to have 103,000 hotel rooms by 2030, with 23 marinas, 24 golf courses and 47 projects devoted to adventure. He illustrated that in Peninsula Ramon, eastern province of Holguin, a large tourist destination with 19,159 rooms is under construction.

He added that in Sabinal Key, to the north of the central province of Camaguey, a hotel complex with 12,785 rooms is being developed, while constructions in Paredon Grande Key and Las Brujas Key include 2,895 rooms. The latter will host next May the International Tourism Fair, FITCuba 2018.

The Cruise Lines International Association chose Havana for its meeting as Cuba is enjoying a tourist boom. Executives from the 12 most important cruise lines, most of them based in the U.S. are attending the gathering.

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