Friday, March 26, 2010

Cuba Readies for U.S. Tourists With Golf Courses, Luxury Hotels

By Jonathan J. Levin


March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Cuba’s hotels could manage a sudden influx of 1 million American tourists if the U.S. Congress lifts its 47-year ban on travel to the Communist island, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said.


Additionally, the Caribbean nation is set to expand its capacity of about 50,000 rooms, with groundbreaking scheduled for at least nine hotels in 2010, Marrero said. About 200,000 rooms may be added in the “medium to long-term,” he said. Cuba is also seeking investment partners for 10 golf courses and luxury hotels aimed at Americans, according to a ministry official.


“I’m convinced that today, with the available capacity, we could be receiving the American tourists without any problem,” Marrero said in an interview yesterday in Cancun, Mexico where he was attending a conference of 40 American and Cuban tourist industry representatives.


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