Intended to be held in Cuba for several years, the International Tourism and Hotel Investment Conference Event (Sahic), took place yesterday, May 15, with the participation of some 200 representatives from the leading hotel companies, groups, and chains, banks, and funds; as well as investors, architects, and designers from 24 countries.
According to President and founder of Sahic, Arturo García, the event, approaching its 10th anniversary, is being held for the first time in the Caribbean, and features a carefully elaborated program designed to provide potential investors with a better understanding of Cuba’s reality and business opportunities in its tourist sector.
Given the current international and regional focus on the eco-tourism industry Sahic-Cuba, which took place in Havana’s Meliá Cohíba hotel, offered an oportunity to promote the natural, cultural, patrimonial, and historical riches of a destination committed to sustainability, peace, and security.
According to David Scowsill, President of the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism, which saw over 3% growth worldwide in 2016, contributes to the creation of peaceful societies, through environmental protection, job creation, and cultural exchanges.
In the words of Alexis Trujillo, Cuba’s deputy minister of Tourism, as host of Sahic-Cuba, the country is offering 110 projects specifically designed to dynamize the national economy by attracting new international partners.
These investments are geared toward gradually improving the quality of, and diversifying, tourist offers, as well as generating new hotel and non-hotel products, renovating and expanding hotel rooms and attracting lucrative markets.
In this regard, Trujillo noted that a stable increase in tourist arrivals to Cuba, up 14.5% last year as compared to 2015, continues to be seen across almost all markets.
Meanwhile, Deborah Rivas, director general of Foreign Investment at Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, recalled that tourism represents one of the strategic sectors for the country’s ongoing process of economic development, and highlighted that that the island’s level of trade relations has tripled over recent years.