Cuba's Jose Marti International Airport in Havana to be refurbished by French firms
Cuba has recorded more than two million tourists so far this year, and the surge in visitors is putting a strain on the country's infrastructure. The Cuban government announced last week that the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana will be renovated by the French company Bouygues, and operated by Aeroports de Paris, the French government-controlled company that runs Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
Cuba is one of the most popular destinations at the moment, following the recent resumed relations between the U.S and Cuban governments. So far this year, more than two million tourists have already visited the island, a 12 per cent increase compared to 2015.
As travel demand increases, the country's strained infrastructure is the main topic of concern, with many hotels in Cuba filled to capacity, and long queues at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. The Cuban government announced last week that Aeroports de Paris, the French government-controlled company that operates several airports including Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, will receive a concession to operate Jose Marti.
This is the largest deal to be made between France and Cuba since France's President Francois Hollande visited Cuba in 2015, and it will be an important infrastructure development for the country. The Havana airport will be renovated by French firm Bouygues, and although details have not yet been released, the airport is expected to have capacity for thousands more travellers every year.
The airport news comes at a good time, following Venezuela's move to cut back on its supply of cheap oil for Cuba which was given in exchange for Cuban doctors working in Venezuelan neighbourhood medical clinics. As a result, energy has been cut back in buildings in Cuba including government offices, where air conditioning has been limited and workers have been told to leave early. Cuba's President Raul Castro has said that the country will see slower growth in 2016, with the economy growing by just one per cent in the first six months of 2016.
Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said that more than 3.8 million tourists are expected to visit the Caribbean island by the end of 2016. According to Cuba's Head of U.S relations, 138,000 Americans visited the island in the first half of this year, and 80 per cent increase on 2015.
Following more than five decades of hostilities, the U.S and Cuba have resumed diplomatic relations, and the two countries are working together to open up trade and travel deals for the first time since the embargo was enforced in 1961. Over recent months, other international travellers have flocked to the island to experience traditional Cuba before the changes are inevitably made.
Cuba has become a popular tourist destination for Canadian and European travellers over the decades. The capital Havana is home to historic, crumbling architecture, lively bars with live music and dancing, and the picturesque Malecon waterfront, while beach resorts such as a Varadero and Cayo Coco are popular with families and couples due to the tropical landscapes made up of palm-fringed white sand beaches and sapphire lagoons.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Escape to Cuba's sunkissed sands and enjoy what Club Amigo Aguas Azules has to offer for an amazing price!
- All inclusive features a buffet restaurant, 2 a la carte restaurants and a choice of 4 bars (Local Sprits, Wine, beer & soft drinks served)
- Fantastic all-inclusive package with unlimited drinks 24/7
- Excellent selection of bars and restaurants Offers 4 restaurants, 3 a la carte and a choice of 4 bars
Experience Vibrant Havana and relaxing Varadero at melia habana hotel and melia marina varadero hotel during summer 2017
Enjoy a summer holiday of a lifetime staying at two amazing hotels in both Havana and Varadero that will give you the perfect opportunity to explore all that Cuba has to offer at melia habana hotel and melia marina varadero hotel
- Melia Marina Varadero offers modern amenities and services including a fitness centre, spa and a kids club
- Exclusive extras are offered in both hotels, including a romantic dinner for two in Varadero and a half day tour in Havana
- Book early and benefit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Melia Habana enjoys an excellent location in Miramar, close to old Havana and offers stunning views of the city and its northern coast
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
An unforgettable holiday experience combining the vibrant life of Havana and the relaxing beach at Varadero
- Upgrade to The Royalton Hicacos Diamond Club and benefit from personalized check in, exclusive beach area, room service 24 hours and much more
- Benefit from the multiple swimming pools and a wide variety of non-motorised water sports in Varadero
- Couples can enjoy little 'extras' at Melia Habana Hotel, offering a sparkling wine and chocolates on arrival
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Take a holiday to enjoy the abundant natural beauty of one of Cuba's leading resorts, Varadero. This locale is known for...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Beyond its sober elegance of Mudejar roots and the presence of round arches and red clay tile roof, it is known for its...
Escape to Cuba on your next holiday and book a stay at the Villa Tortuga Hotel in Varadero. It is an all inclusive hotel...