Tuesday,  March 21, 2023  12:45 am

Cuba commits to 12-year infrastructure growth plan

Cuba commits to 12-year infrastructure growth plan

The Cuba Tourist Board has announced a comprehensive blueprint for infrastructure growth and development extending from 2018 to 2030.

The plan comes as a response to consistently growing demand for the destination, which typically enjoys more than one million visitors from Canada alone each year.

The tourism sector is most important to the economy of the Caribbean island nation, receiving the highest volume of foreign and domestic investment in the country. Cuba received 4.7 million tourists in 2017, a 16.2 per cent increase over the previous year.

Cuba began intensifying the development of hotel accommodations in 2017. With an annual hotel infrastructure growth rate of 10 per cent, collaborative efforts between the government and international developers have led to the addition of over 2,500 hotels room each year. This growth rate is expected to swell rapidly as the country sets projections for 103,000 new rooms and at least eight new hotels by 2030. The Hotel Varadero Internacional, the Prado y Malecón, and the Packard Hotel in Havana are on track to open by 2019.

This renewed focus on accommodation capacity is matched by a commitment to invest in infrastructure and attractions in the broader tourism industry. Cuba is on pace to add 23 nautical stations and marinas, 24 golf courses, and 47 entertainment facilities over the next 12 years.

These developments are intended to round out the country’s already robust offering of natural attractions, which includes 10 world heritage sites, 14 national parks, and hundreds of national monuments.

Securing foreign investment is key to the successful realization of Cuba’s goals in the sector. To this end, tourism authorities in Cuba have announced 87 management and development contracts with 19 international companies.

These agreements will channel most of the investment from abroad into hotel rooms and theme parks, while domestic investment is funneled toward high-priority regions and provinces including Havana, Cienfuegos, Camaguey, Las Tunas and Holguin.