Recently held was a government meeting to review progress in tourism, one of six strategic sectors identified in the country’s Development Plan. Basic issues analyzed included current investment projects, the development of productive chains with other industries, and substitution of imported supplies with domestic products.
During the meeting, chaired by Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, the importance of tourism as a driving force in the Cuban economy was emphasized.
The President said that everything this sector brings to the country in economic and social matters should not be overlooked, in addition to being a bridge to the world, since every tourist visiting the country is breaking the U.S. blockade. "That's why we must defend it, that's why we must make it more efficient," he stated, as reported on the Presidency’s website.
With First Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa and Mercedes López Acea, Party Political Bureau member, also on hand, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, reported that 2,081 hotel rooms were completed this year, through the end of June, to reach a total of 72,965 across the country. By the end of 2019, the incorporation of another 4,197 is planned - 97% of which are in 26 new hotels, while the remaining 3% represent expansions.Referring to real estate development projections, the Minister pointed out that 13 new projects are planned, along with seven recreational projects, with special emphasis on those that have been conceived in the context of Havana's 500th anniversary.Regarding the non-state tourism program, Marrero reported that 27,814 self-employed workers are licensed in this arena, including 17,805 homeowners authorized to operate in the CUC market, offering 26,224 rooms.