HAVANA, Dec. 2nd. The Grand Muthu Rainbow Hotel, located in Cayo Guillermo, an islet in the province of Ciego de Avila, was inaugurated in December 2019, but had to close very quickly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Encouraged by the drop in cases, Cuba reopened its doors to international tourism on November 15, allowing the hotel to welcome its first tourists.
In addition to this establishment intended particularly for the LGBT community, Cuba “is making great strides with the new family code”, currently analyzed by a legislative commission to include marriage between people of the same sex, explains to AFP Marlis Delgado, manager. hotel sales.
The text must be approved by Parliament at the end of the year and then submitted to a referendum in 2022.
“This means a step forward for our society, and having this hotel here,” as well as another soon to be inaugurated in Havana, “allows us to give this family code a more solid basis to be. approved, ”says Delgado.
In these first weeks of reopening, Canadian tourists were the most numerous in this hotel, as well as Cubans.
For Kevin McGrath, a 37-year-old Canadian who enjoys the pool overlooking the sea, this hotel may be an inspiration for the government to make “the right changes for all LGBT people who come here to Cuba.” “It’s a very welcoming place and you feel well integrated,” he adds.
The Cuban authorities had tried to include same-sex marriage in the new Constitution approved in 2019, but the rejection expressed in particular by the Catholic and Evangelical churches had made them renounce.
Erick Hiller, a Canadian tourist who came with his companion, finds it “incredible” that Cuba will soon be able to approve gay marriage: “in our country, this was approved several years ago, we are going to see if it is possible to get married. here “.
The tourism industry, the engine of the Cuban economy, has been severely affected by the pandemic. The government forecasts the arrival of 100,000 tourists by the end of the year and two million in 2022, a far cry from the four million who arrived each year before 2020.