Cuba Picks Up its Tourism Game with Opening of New Cuba Hotels and Restaurants
As the Obama administration eases restrictions for American travellers taking Cuba holidays, many provincial towns are introducing new tourist services for the expected influx of visitors, including new restaurants and hotels.
New Cuba hotels and restaurants are opening up across provincial towns throughout the Caribbean island in preparation for the predicted influx of tourists from the U.S. who will be going on holidays to Cuba this year.
Earlier this year, President Obama relaxed restrictions on American travellers taking Cuba holidays for cultural, religious, academic and educational purposes. This change to the ongoing U.S-Cuba travel embargo followed last year’s decision to allow unlimited Cuba travel for Cuban-American residents.
Many “mum-and-dad businesses” (businesses typically owned and run by members of a family), are booming in towns and cities across Cuba after President Raul Castro’s reform to boost private enterprise.
The port city of Cienfuegos is one example of these booming areas with an additional 14 private restaurants opening within a period of just a few months. Locals say that there are now over 100 home-based B&B-style Cuba hotels in the city. Tourists visiting the city during their holidays in Cuba will now be able to choose from outlets serving pizza, pastries, coffee and refreshing drinks, while they explore the local attractions.
"Competition means you have to improve your service and that's a good thing, everyone gains, you, the tourists and the country," said Orestes Toledo, the owner of the Perla Hostel, a two-room bed and breakfast which overlooks the bay.
"Now even the state will have to shape up," he added.
Cienfuegos is situated 270 km from Cuba’s capital city of Havana, and it is often passed through by foreign tourists who are heading to the beach resort of Varadero during their Cuba holidays or when en-route to Cuba’s eastern and second most important city of Santiago.
Former forest ranger, Tony Azorlin, said: "I think a lot of people are going to open restaurants. I calculate you might eventually see 40 or 50 and a lot of cafes."
"I think there is a market for that many, as long as tourism holds up," he added.
Since Castro lifted restrictions in October, 2010, claiming that small business were vital to the country's future, over 75,000 self-employment licenses have been granted to Cuban residents.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 10:30 - 17:30 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Dive into the warm water of Varadero beach and relax under the caribbean sunshine
- Enjoy a fantastic tour
- Book now and benefit from huge savings with the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic to Varadero offer!
- Suites feature a separate living area and Tropical suites feature breathtaking views of the sea
- Golf lovers can play on the nearby Varadero 18 hole golf course
A couples' special - enjoy the perfect mix of history, local culture and laidback beach retreat for the perfect romantic Cuban experience.
- Enjoy all kind of the Spa treatments, water and land sports at Blau Varadero
- Fantastic views to the ocean from the modern and elegant rooms with balcony or terrace
- The perfect location of Blau Varadero beside the pristine sandy beach
The unlimited heaven of tranquility in a perfect setting
- Iberostar Parque Central Hotel is a great base to discover Havana's historic Old Town.
- Activities throughout the day at Iberostar Varadero Hotel , including aerobics, archery, basketball, beach volleyball, football, kayaking and more.
- The luxurious 5 star accommodation ensures a comfortable adventure.
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
Soak up the history of Havana as well as the magnificence of Varadero beach on an unforgettable twin centre holiday to...
One of Havana’s most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the 50s, the Capri is a legendary property with over...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
This 1920s colonial house is surrounded by lush vegetation and terrace areas and boasts a stunning array of antiques,...
Look out onto the day to day life of Havana's streets from the Casa Santy's balconies, with its great location and a...