By Mario Masciullo, eTN Italy
Cuban Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, presented the new councilor for Cuban Tourism in Italy – Madelen Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez, defined as a senior professional. To her credit, she has important international duties and a profound knowledge of the world of tourism.
From Rome, Ms Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez will be activated to carry out meetings and agreements with tour operators, airlines, and travel agencies, as well as planning co-marketing initiatives and advertising investments.
The Minister’s strategy is to overcome, in part, the difficulties deriving from the adverse decisions regulating the economic and financial block imposed by the United States and focuses on the increase of a tourist presence in Cuba which is on the upswing since the beginning of 2018. The strategy foresees the passing of 4 million visitors by the end of this year.
Italian tourists have had a historical presence on the island, and until 2017 with 228,000 visitors, are showing new interest in Cuba after a period of decline.
In the first 10 months of 2018, 147,900 Italians were present on the Isla Grande. “We are counting on this potential, whose flows are distributed during the various seasons of the year,” the minister said.
In the marketing plan of Manuel Marrero, short-term investments are envisaged involving hotel facilities in various categories.
Some have been completed in Cayo Largo at Villa Coral-Soledad, in Isla del Sur, and at Villa Linda Mar. The 1st International of Varadero will be inaugurated shortly. This highlights the relaunch in all areas of hospitality, including the quality of service offered by staff.
Investments are planned to raise the quality of the Cuba destination also in air transport and at airports. Blu Panorama will commission two Boeing 737s, and for city transport, 8,000 new cars will be in service for hire.
Investments are also extended in the field of digital information – the site “Cuba offers” starting from the official portal cuba.travel for marketing and e-commerce and cubamaps.com providing over 15,000 places of tourist interest, which will become 25,000 shortly. Lastly, there will be a strong presence on the main social networks, facilitated by the increase in Wi-Fi coverage.
All this, said the minister, has been implemented to modernize the island starting from the services that tourists expect. The guests of the Cuba Tourism Fair, which will take place in the capital in 2019, will enjoy the privilege of attending the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana.