Concrete signs that Cuba will be opening its arms to visitors in a big way—and not just in Havana—towered over the International Tourism Fair in Cuba the first week of May. After the government called for building more than 100,000 new accommodations by 2030, Melia Hotels International announced that it would be adding eight hotels in partnership with Cuban hotel groups for a total of almost 1,000 new rooms in three cities.
The Caribbean island nation is already a popular tourist destination for European and Canadian visitors. It welcomed 4.2 million people in 2016 and boasts more than 62,000 hotel rooms. Those numbers are growing every year. Trips from Germany alone increased 44 percent last year, leading to an increase in the number of flights Condor and Eurowings airlines schedule to the country.
The tourism fair, known as FitCuba 2017, was held in the eastern province of Holguin to promote Gibara as a tourist destination. The organization is committed to highlighting the hospitality industry in areas inside and outside the capital that may not be as well known, but have their own allure. This includes extensive navigable coastline, sparkling bays and almost 2,500 miles of coral reefs and 50 coral species.
Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, Melia vice president, echoed the support for creating travel opportunities island-wide. “We are also taking on a commitment to strengthen the multi-destination vacation segment, guaranteeing the service and quality of the Melia, Innside and Sol House brands from the east to the west of the island,” he said.
Look for Melia-managed hotels in:
Cienfuegos: A 56-room San Carlos Hotel; a 49-room Union Hotel; a 173-room Jagua Hotel under the Innside by Melia brand.
Trinidad: A renovated 279-room Ancon Hotel under the Sol House brand, as well as a new 102-room hotel to be built at the end of the Ancon peninsula.
Camaguey: Three hotels, two in the historic center, including the 72-room Gran Hotel and the 58-room Hotel Colon in conjunction with Islazul hotel group. Innside by Melia will also be the brand applied to the 142-room Hotel Camaguey after a renovation.