Last updated: 11:14 AM ET, Wed April 20 2016

Cuba Plans for Hotel Boom

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | April 20, 2016

Cuba Plans for Hotel Boom

PHOTO: Havana, Cuba (courtesy Thinkstock)

Tourism is top of mind in Cuba these days – not only for those who are planning to travel to the country, but within the country itself. Cuba is taking its tourism boom seriously and is planning to build the infrastructure and make the investments necessary to keep the island nation in the forefront of travelers’ minds.

At the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, the tourism ministry laid forth its plans for bolstering the country’s hotel market. The National Plan for Economic and Social Development unveiled Cuba’s plans for adding some 108,000 new hotel rooms in the country by 2030 to accommodate the influx of tourists.

“We cannot make the mistake other countries have made that, with new development, old hotels are cast aside,” tourism minister Manual Marrero said to the Communist Party daily, Granma. “Tourism has a multiplier effect and the sector has the capacity to promote development of other areas of the economy to create productive linkages.”

Marrero also noted that tourism will eventually serve as the “locomotive of the national economy.”

Within the National Plan for Economic and Social Development, it notes that more than 10,900 new hotel rooms were constructed in the country since the 6th Congress in 2011 and more than 7,000 rooms were renovated. Other facilities and services within the hotel industry have also served to continue the upward trend in the development of Cuba’s hospitality industry, according to the report, and the ministry of tourism as well as the Cuban government see the potential and value of continuing to grow the industry.

READ MORE: Circling Cuba on the Crystal Ship

Currently, there is ongoing development within the country’s major tourism destinations to address the deficit in accommodations. And, within the report, the tourism ministry points out that the operations and construction of iconic luxury properties is currently going smoothly.

“Each hotel inaugurated is another factory that generates within our borders much needed export income for the country,” the report says.

READ MORE: Will Cuba’s Rise Obscure Other Caribbean Destinations?

The planned tourism developments, which also include other non-hotel “activities” such as golf courses and marinas, are endorsed by Cuba’s leader, Raul Castro. And with Cuba’s ongoing tourism boom, the need for new accommodation has never been greater.

According to the report, last year, for the first time, Cuba surpassed 3.5 million visitors.

“Conditions are being shaped to ensure that in the period 2016-2020, we obtain better results and the foundations are created in our economy for sustainable economic-social development,” said the report.

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