En este momento estás viendo Juan Carlos García: «Cuba is an ideal scenario for tourism».
Juan Carlos García Granda, Minister of Tourism. Photo: Marcelino Vázquez

Juan Carlos García: «Cuba is an ideal scenario for tourism».

uba is an ideal place to develop tourism, not only because of its natural characteristics, but also because of the training of its personnel and the quality of its services, Juan Carlos García Granda, minister for the sector, told the press.

In the context of the closing day of the XLII International Tourism Fair (FITCuba) 2024, García Granda said that the event, more than a tourism product, showcased one of the safest and most unique destinations thanks to its people.

He acknowledged the foreign visitors and personalities of the sector who, for the first time, came to the largest of the Antilles in the context of FITCuba, which speaks of the prestige that the nation has in the so-called industry without chimney.

He highlighted the high presence of tour operators, businessmen, travel agency leaders and specialists from more than 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the region to which the Fair was dedicated.

All these participants, as well as from other continents, showed their tourism potential, which allowed the establishment of negotiations, the results of which will be encouraging for the sector in the archipelago during the current year, García Granda added.

In his dialogue with the press, the minister explained that, at present, the main challenge lies in the connectivity between the Caribbean and Latin American territories, markets from which it is necessary to attract more visitors, as in the moments prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that links have been established with Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, but there is still a need to link up with Brazil. On the preparations for FITCuba 2025, which will take place in Havana, García Granda explained that it was decided to dedicate the event to the People’s Republic of China.

The selection takes place in a context in which the airline Air China will establish, on 17 May, its first Beijing-Madrid-Havana flight and will operate twice a week from the Asian giant, he said.

This initiative of the Ministry of Tourism is accompanied by other good news: Chinese citizens with ordinary passports from their country will be exempt from visa requirements to Cuba, the minister said. He noted that the measure demonstrates the will of the Cuban government to stimulate the flow of inhabitants of the Asian nation to Caribbean soil.

For this market, García Granda assured that products and services are already being designed, such as the improvement of internet connectivity in hotel facilities, the specialisation of guides in the language, as well as the digitalisation of visas and tourist package reservations, among others.

If we want to attract Chinese visitors and satisfy their leisure needs, we still have a lot of work to do, he said. The Caribbean nation will concentrate on this effort, with the support of the foreign business community, which manages 68 percent of Cuba’s hotel industry, García Granda said.

He also stressed the need to create multi-destination opportunities to exploit the potential of the Latin American and Caribbean region. Regarding the forecast of 3.2 million visitors to Cuba, the Minister of Tourism declared that it is too early to be sure that this mark will be met, as the behaviour of arrivals in the summer of this year has yet to be measured.

Cuba needs to look for clients, because despite the adverse economic scenario that surrounds it, I believe that it has the capacity to compete in a branch such as tourism, he stressed. Travelling and getting to know other destinations is considered part of the basic needs of people, who seek their spiritual development, he concluded.

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