- Enriched events with the ‘500th Anniversary’ of Havana this year
- Cuba’s ‘Second-largest’ source of revenue - Tourism Industry
- ‘New Investment zone for MICE’ – Tourism Minister
- Invests 3 billion pesos in 4,000 hotel rooms across Cuba
How much do you know about Cuba? Many recognize Cuba as a merely a socialist or communist country. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Havana, the capital of Cuba. To celebrate this, the Cuban government and Havana hold various events and conferences. The Cuban government ranks the tourism industry as the second-largest source of national revenue.
Recently, Cuba’s tourism minister announced that ‘Cuba is emerging as a new investment area for MICE’. More than 4,000 hotel rooms are being built throughout Cuba, and more than 3 billion pesos are being invested.
Marketing Director of Cuba Tourism Department mentioned in meeting with MICE personnel that the current year is a recovery period of the tourism industry, and Cuba is qualified for all the conditions for marketing events and incentive tours globally. He also emphasizes that it is a period for push as there are many to show particularly in event sectors. It can be assumed that Cuba is fostering tourism and events at the government level.
Cuba is a small country of 125km east-west and 191km wide south-north. However, it is located in the westernmost part of the Caribbean with over 600 beaches. Along the endless coastline, you will find more than 4,000 islands and reefs. That’s why Cuba has been expanding the MICE industry along the maritime area.
‘The City of Carnival’ – Endless moments of music and dance
Dance, song, music, and food are a blend of Hispanic, African, Arab, and Chinese elements, and cultures of tropical climates are developed. Santiago de Cuba, in particular, is a unique blend of Spanish and African culture. It’s an area where cultural traditions are vivid. Rum, which is a drink blend of flavors, textures, and fragrance, and Tobacco are products that represent Cuba.
You can’t miss out on the unique convergence culture. During an event, even if people face a person with an unusual diet, everyone takes it for granted. Every effort is made to provide a separate requested menu that accounts for an unusual diet. They even try to solve it with the help of nearby restaurants or experts.
Cuba is a ‘The City of Carnival’ that encompasses creative unity and grouped cultures that are faithful to historical identity, with its music and dance that is endless year-round. Especially, Santiago de Cuba is known for its iconic carnival culture with Havana. The history of carnival dates back to the colonial period, where it is held every July for a week to celebrate and commemorate the construction of the city. This is one of the most magnificent festivals. Other than this, there are famous festivals such as Carnival at S. Cristina (July 24), Carnival of Santiago de Cuba (July 25), and the Santa Ana Summer Carnival (July 26).
With an exotic atmosphere, Cuba is expected high to provide a variety of incentive tours and travel programs. Any MICE groups are ready to offer personalized service. In particular, golf, diving, social politics, and leisure programs make a reputation. It is also popular with couples who want an exotic wedding.
The Cuban government’s MICE policy is strategically collaborating with private companies to improve agriculture, food industry, tourism, energy, and industrial infrastructure. For foreign investors, it also spreads the name of an never-ending expanding market to provide a safe investment environment. The largest market for the Cuban MICE industry is Canada, Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and Finland, but also for Korea with great importance in the future.
For final remarks, do not forget the fact that making a payment in the US dollar will cause you 10% more VAT than any other currency. Thus, it is highly recommended to use Euro or Canadian dollars.
Olga Sanchez Urrutia
Head of Groups, Congresses & Incentives
Solways Cuba - EUROMIC Cuba