- Title: Major U.S. hotel groups sponsor tourism investment meeting in Havana
- Date: 16th May 2017
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (FILE) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE WALKING IN FRONT OF NATIONAL CAPITOL BUILDING CUBAN FLAG WITH TOURIST WALKING BEHIND STREET MUSICIANS PLAYING ON TOURIST AREA TOUR GUIDE LEADING TOURISTS THROUGH CITY CRUISE SHIP PASSING WITH CAPITOL BUILDING SEEN IN BACKGROUND CRUISE SHIP ENTERING BAY
- Embargoed: 30th May 2017 18:28
- Keywords: detente United States tourism Cuba
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0026H39YYR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The annual Latin American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conferences meeting opened in Havana this week and the list of sponsors read like the who's who of the U.S. hotel industry.
The head of the organization, Arturo Garcia, told Reuters it was no accident that the likes of Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Choice and Wyndham were supportive, saying the next step in the development of the hotel business in Cuba is the participation of U.S. companies.
The event is the latest indication, following the signing of agreements earlier this year by major cruise companies, that the U.S. hospitality industry is betting that hotel operator and now President Donald Trump will not shut the Cuba door on his industry peers.
David Tarr, senior vice president for real estate and development at Hyatt, said the company is very interested in Cuba as a destination for their guests, and that they hope relations will be normalised.
On the eve of President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba last year, and after obtaining a special Treasury Department license, Starwood became the first American hospitality company in more than half a century to operate a hotel, Four Points Sheraton, on the island.
Garcia said most sponsors are waiting for this same approval, adding that their hotels could be expected all over the island as soon as they receive it.
U.S. travel to Cuba has already surged, albeit from very low levels, since the former Cold War foes announced a detente and the Obama administration eased travel restrictions beginning in 2015.
Cuba reported 4 million arrivals last year, of which 285,000 were Americans, with their numbers increasing at a rate of 18 percent so far in 2017.
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