Cuba’s Tourism Set To Rocket As US Blockade Falls
Qatar has announced that it will build a five-star resort on the South coast of Cuba and become the first Arab country to “invest in Cuba’s booming tourism sector”. The 450-room upscale resort is expected to be completed by 2015.
The Qatar announcement is only one of the many indicators we see in the news today that the thaw in Cuban-American relationships is already having a tangible impact upon Cuba’s economy and especially its travel industry. As business and tourism struggles throughout the rest of the Caribbean, reports suggest that Cuba’s visitor numbers (and foreign currency inflow) will significantly increase this year largely based upon the pent-up market of Cuban-Americans now able to travel to the old country to assist family members with financial aid, business investment and, most important – business experience.
“Casa Particular” Bed & Breakfast Tourist Homes – A Resurgence of Cuban Entrepreneurs
BFP’s own Cliverton received word from Cuban friends that the number of licensed family-run bed and breakfast homes in Holguin has increased by about 22% this year. Although that number makes no distinction between a home that has prepared and opened a single bedroom for rent or a new purpose-built four-bedroom tourist home with ensuite toilets, it is an important indicator of capital investment and growth expectations.
When Cliverton asked what he could bring to Cuba next time, most of his friends immediately said “bed sheets!” Even if they can’t use them in their own B&Bs, bedsheets are the hot commodity at the moment. So if you stay at Rosa’s or Sonia’s place, don’t forget to bring some new sheets. You’ll be amazed at the welcome you’ll receive! (That’s Sonia’s front apartment in the photo. Clean place run by friendly people.)
Meanwhile In Barbados: Oceans Two Project Stops Construction
We can all hope that the work stoppage at the Oceans Two resort hotel project is simply about an underfunded project. IF that is truly the case, perhaps some other firm can pick up the pieces and continue.
If, however, the problem is that all the banks have looked at the long term scenario for tourism investment in Barbados and have refused financing on that basis — then we are in big trouble. What is the truth? Around here, who knows? According to the CBC, the project’s owners have refused comment. (See CBC’s 200 Workers Sent Home From Construction Site)