Major U.S. Hotel Chains Could Land in Cuba Anytime Soon

17 May 2017 6:46pm
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Major U.S. Hotel Chains Could Land in Cuba Anytime Soon

As the Latin American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conferences ended in Cuba this week, major hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Choice and Wyndham attended the conference and showed their interest in investing on the island nation.

SAHIC president Arturo Garcia believes the focus from United States-based hotel companies on development in Cuba is a strong indication that President Donald Trump will not shut the door on expansion in the island nation.

Some experts strongly believe the much-anticipated “review” of Barack Obama’s new U.S.-Cuba relations promised by the Trump administration could be announced on May 20, Cuba’s Independence Day and a date traditionally used by American presidents to make announcements on Cuba policies.

And one of those announcements could be groundbreaking rules and regulations for American hotel chains to start operating fully in Cuba under a more legal umbrella that could make things move faster for companies like Hyatt and Hilton, just to name a couple of hotel giants interested in investing on the island.

After Starwood became the first American hospitality company to operate a Cuban hotel in more than half a century, more companies are looking to invest. With U.S. tourism to the island increasing since travel restrictions were lifted, more hotel companies are considering expanding into the Cuban market.

“We are very interested in Cuba as a destination for our guests,” Hyatt senior vice president David Tarr said in a statement. “We certainly hope relations will be normalized. Our guests want to visit, which is why we are here.”

Cuban tourism officials reported four million arrivals during 2016 and an 18 percent increase thus far in 2017. Of the four million tourists who visited the country last year, an estimated 285,000 were Americans.

“Slowly but surely, we are learning about the conditions here and our company is working together with the U.S. authorities in this process,” Wyndham’s Latin American and Caribbean development director Louis Alicea told Reuters.com.

Citing European and Canadian firms that moved into Cuba following the fall of the Soviet Union, World Travel and Tourism Council President David Scow believes companies in the U.S. will follow a similar game plan.

Source: Reuter, Travel Pulse

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