Cuba tourism fair looks at urban attractions

HAVANA — Havana hosted an International Tourism Fair (the 34th edition of FITCuba – FITCuba 2014) earlier this month which was dedicated to the City of Havana.

France was the guest country of honour in recognition of its vast potential as a source market. The fair featured various multi-destination tours popular especially with European tourists to Cuba.

Grand opening ceremonies were held at the Nacional de Cuba Hotel with special addresses by Sylvia Pynel, Minister of Tourism of France, and Taleb Rifai, General Secretary of the WTO. Other activities were centred at Havana’s San Carlos de La Cuba Fortress which hosted meetings for travel professionals and exhibits of tourism and recreational options in Cuba.

FITCuba 2014 also focused on urban tourism particularly in Havana reflecting current trends which have made Havana one of Cuba’s most popular destinations, second only to Varadero. Havana now has 12,000 hotel rooms, including Capri Hotel which opened last year after extensive renovations.

Mintur executives announced continuing negotiations for the establishment of joint venture companies directed toward diversifying Cuba’s tourist product, including the construction of several golf courses. Cuba is increasingly committed to developing untapped markets by developing new and expanded tourist regions and attractions.

Part of this initiative is to focus on multi-destination tours featuring natural, cultural and historic sites of interest.

Although there is increasing interest from European countries, Canada remains the largest source of foreign visitors to Cuba with over 1 million visits last year.