Cuba seeks to drive Havana hotel investments

Havana Riviera by Iberostar, Cuba. Photo credit: Iberostar

The Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) has named the capital city of Havana a priority destination for tourism investment.

The Ministry is particularly focused on the Workers' Social Clubs (CSO), which have deteriorated significantly. Companies, like Marriott and Four Seasons, have already started bidding on the CSO Julio A. Mella.

Havana's current hotel development pipeline includes the hotels Packard, which is scheduled to open in 2018, Prado y Malecón, which is opening in 2019, Corona, Metropolitano and Gran Hotel. Other projects include hotels on Malecón and D streets, 3rd and 70th streets across from the Panorama Hotel, G and 29th streets and on 25th and Ki streets near the Tryp Habana Libre Hotel. 

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Iberostar has planned to celebrate Havana's 500th anniversary by investing €35 million the Habana Riviera Hotel, which the company currently operates. Many of the guestrooms of the Habana Libre Hotel, the New York Hotel and the Gran Hotel will also undergo renovations ahead of the anniversary.

These investments show that investor confidence in Havana's tourism is rebounding. The MINTUR has been promoting investment in Cuba, including with Meliá Hotels & Resorts, and aims to sign five-year management contracts extendable for another period to operate the hotels. 

The city currently has 15 hotels operated with foreign companies along with 95 management agreements accounting for 65 percent of Cuba's total number of guestrooms. According to MINTUR, investments in 2018 reached $1.035 billion, driving for a 3.5-percent increase in Cuban tourism this year compared to the same period last year.