HAVANA, Apr 17 Iberostar opens in Varadero its 15 th hotel in Cuba in the resort of Varadero, Cuba’s most important tourist and sunshine pool, the island’s media reports.
The Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero, the new facility that will bemanaged by the Spanish company, is a Premium Gold hotel of five stars category that is owned by the Cuban state tourism company “Gaviota”, run by the island’s Armed Forces.
“Cuba is Iberostar’s first bet in Latin America,” said the delegate of the chain in the Caribbean country, Mateo Cardentey, during the opening of the hotel, which was attended by tour operators, travel agents and tour executives.
Cardentey said guests from Italy, Spain, and Canada, among other nationalities, are expected at this adults-only hotel with 827 rooms.
Varadero sits on the Hicacos peninsula, an arm of land more than 20 kilometers long, located on the north coast of the western province of Matanzas and 140 kilometers east of Havana.
The penunsula has more than 50 hotels, 80% of them four and five star category, with more than 20,000 rooms, and in 2016 received more than one million tourists for the ninth consecutive year, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has been present in Cuba since 1993 and currently operates 15 hotels in Cuba located in Havana, Cayo Largo del Sur, Varadero, Trinidad and the northern cayería of the central provinces Villa Clara and Ciego de Avila.
According to Cardentey, the Spanish company plans to expand to the eastern cities of Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, where the opening of the first hotel managed by Iberostar in Playa Pesquero, one of the main tourist centers of the Caribbean country, is scheduled for this year.
He also cited other projects in association with the Cuban tourist chains Gaviota and Gran Caribe, such as Havana’s construction of Hotel Packard and the repair of Habana Riviera, two former establishments that he described as “significant and with history.”
Iberostar is one of the foreign companies that has opted for management contracts with financing to remodel hotel facilities, a new modality of investment promoted by the tourist authorities of the Caribbean country.
Cuba has reported a boom in tourism in recent years and in 2016 it achieved for the first time in its history the record number of 4 million tourists.
By 2017, projections of foreign visitors to the island aim to raise the number to 4.2 million.
Tourism represents the most dynamic sector of the Cuban economy and the country’s second largest source of income behind the commercialization of professional services abroad.