During the recent First Business Forum in the City of Merida in Yucatan, Cuban and Mexican authorities stated their willingness to strengthen collaboration and strategic alliances in the tourism sector.
According to Federal Tourism Secretary, Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, the event focused on projects worth at least one hundred million dollars in trade exchanges.
The official stated at the closing of the event that “we trust that the present positive state of bilateral relations will translate into an increased level of business and investment opportunities. The objective is to transform small and medium sized Mexican businesses into suppliers for the Cuban tourism industry”.
He acknowledged that, in addition to concessions granted for the administration of hotels and the building and development of tourism real estate and golf courses, the supply of food and goods would prove to be amongst the most advantageous of the agreements reached, primaily for Yucatan based enterprises.
The two day forum facilitated more than 260 business meetings and other appointments for the design of multi-destination package holidays so that holiday makers who visit Cuba can also take advantage of Mexican tourism offers.
Amongst the activities to incentivize such joint ventures were an air and sea travel Logistical Connectivity session that addressed, in addition to existing businesses that support investment in Mexico and Cuba, the current state of affairs and further potential connections between the two countries.
The Cuban delegation comprised more than 20 members of the tourism business community led by their Minister for Tourism Manuel Marrero.
The minister outlined on behalf of the Gaviota, Cubanacán, Gran Caribe and Habaguanex hotel chains, the ancillary service supply Palmares and Caracol groups and the Havanatur tour operator, his country‘s current recreational tourism development needs.
He said he felt that the forum would represent a before and after for matters that related specifically to these bilateral links, adding that the areas of greatest interest were the food and drinks sector and the development of hotel infrastructure and services.
Marrero stated that Cuba and Mexico were the destinations that had most to offer the Caribbean tourism market and could complement each other in this regard, something that forms part of the agreements reached last November, also in Merida, during the Cuban President Raul Castro’s official visit.
He gave reassurances that Mexico could become a market that – in addition to the incentive for both that multi-destination development represents -- meets the insurance and investment needs in particular of this fast growing Cuban sector “As well as being geographically close, Mexico has extensive air connections to Cuba. The growth in tourism to the Island and the introduction of flights from China, Russia and Europe indicate the potential for the sale of packages that include both countries”.
He emphasized that the “market was sufficiently vast to support a shared culture and offers that were complimentary rather than competitive”.
Cuba is promoting a strategy that has tourism as one of the most dynamic sectors for national economic development and has a program for the provision of 103,000 new hotel rooms to come on stream at a rate of 2,500 per annum over the coming years.
He explained to the Mexican entrepreneurs that Havana, where demand was greater than supply, was a priority in this regard and that there were, amongst other investments underway, three five stars hotels under construction in very popular tourists areas in the city such as the Malecon and the historic center of the city.
The creation of enhanced capacity in the nations heritage villas and on the northern Paredón, Sabinal, Cruz and Ramón de Antillas keys can be added to the above as part of the response to the present boom in Cuban tourism.Share on FB Share on TT