Even with a weakened foreign money, Cuba is betting on restoration

With the peso weakening, the Cuban financial system continues to be making an attempt to react to pre-pandemic ranges.
The nation’s Economic system Minister Alejandro Gil stated this week that “the state should re-establish management of the change charge and defend our foreign money at a charge of 120 pesos per greenback,” he informed Reuters.
On Thursday, a Cuban peso was price $ 155, the bottom because the so-called “particular interval” in Cuba, generally known as the deep financial despair that adopted the 1991 collapse after the collapse of the Soviet Union. To be taught extra concerning the nation’s financial system and its relations with the vacationer circulation, the DIARY spoke with the Cuban consul in Sao Paulo, Raul González. Raul is a member of the Cuban diplomatic corps in Brazil and on the consulate he’s liable for issues regarding enterprise and commerce within the Caribbean nation. The interview was granted to the contributing journalist of the DT, Raimundo Ruiz Jesus.

After the reopening of tourism in Cuba in November final yr, what are a very powerful challenges and measures that stay with Covid-19 or different well being measures to make sure the tranquility of vacationers visiting the nation?

Raul Gonzales – After the reopening of tourism in November final yr, strict biosecurity measures had been adopted and protocols established to make sure the discount and contagion of the return of the virus. As a part of this path, a wholesome and secure vacationer certificates has been deliberate, important for each resort that comes into operation.

Since greater than 90% of the inhabitants has been vaccinated and totally empowered since April 6, there are not any restrictions on entry to Cuba from overseas: solely a sound passport, a vacationer visa card is required. , journey insurance coverage with medical protection that features Covid-19 and full the traveler’s well being declaration.

How necessary is the Brazilian enterprise journey and tourism market at this time in Cuba?

Raul Gonzales – The Brazilian vacationer goes to Cuba as a vacationer throughout the “Conferences, Incentives, Congresses and Occasions” phase and Brazil has for years been one of many main emitters of holiday makers to occasions and congresses of various classes, comparable to: “Congresses of Pedagogy ”,“ Well being for All ”,“ Solidarity Occasions ”, and many others.

There may be additionally a high-level phase linked to businessmen and lovers of “Cuban cigars”. This phase has grown considerably in recent times as a result of rising curiosity of Brazilians within the Cuban market. An necessary worldwide occasion for cigar customers and tasters has additionally been held in Havana for over 20 years; the place Brazil at all times has a great share.

What are Brazilians’ favourite packages and locations on the island?

Raul Gonzales – What Brazilian tourism requires most are the seaside, diving and a few references associated to nature (ecotourism), music and folklore.

Most vacationers in Brazil go to Havana and its seashores, comparable to Balneário de Varadero, different seashores on the north coast and a few islets (referred to as Cayos), which means “heritage tourism, solar and seaside”. Principally it’s a mixture of packages of 5 days and 4 nights and seven days with roughly 6 nights (they’re probably the most wanted). However generally they keep somewhat longer.

In addition they establish and discover the attributes and situations within the vacation spot that are: security, hospitable and supportive educated folks derived from the tutorial and cultural degree of the Cuban inhabitants, in addition to native historical past, our traditions and our nationwide heritage which will be appreciated within the 18 vacationer locations that Cuba has.

You will need to do not forget that Brazilian tourism to Cuba elevated exponentially from 2016 to 2018, when it reached the very best variety of vacationers with over 41,000 vacationers touring to the island. Now in 2022, greater than 2,500 Brazilians have visited the nation and we count on that quantity to succeed in round 4,000 vacationers this yr.

“Brazilian tourism in Cuba grew exponentially from 2016 to 2018, when it reached the biggest variety of vacationers with over 41,000 vacationers who traveled to the island”, says the consul within the interview (Credit score: Raimudo Jesus Ruíz – particular for the DT)

Talking of enterprise tourism, that are probably the most represented international resort chains and what was the quantity of investments within the final half of this yr, together with resort renovations?

Raul Gonzales – Primarily based on the expertise gained within the “Cultural Heritage of Previous Havana since 1982” (UNESCO), over the past 15 years greater than 65 vacationer buildings have been recovered, together with 63 lodges (lodges).

The investments are particularly geared toward enhancing the housing advanced, actual property efficiency associated to “golf programs” and tools with types of renewable power, for instance: set up of photo voltaic panels, LED lamps, waste remedy and filtering techniques of saline waters.

Within the nation there are about 100 resort administration contracts managed by 20 international chains. Most notably, 70 lodges characterize Spanish chains comparable to: Meliá, Ibero Star, Be dwell (Grupo Globalia), Roc and Barceló, amongst others. The resort chains with the best illustration in Cuba are: Meliá and IberoStar, with respectively 33 and 18 lodges every. So far, we nonetheless don’t have a Brazilian flag resort in Cuba, however we have now entrepreneurs and with potentialities in these initiatives the place talks have been held on the topic.

Within the latter half of 2022, to fulfill tourism demand, how was the expansion or capability of lodges this summer time?

Raul Gonzales – The resort construction in Cuba consists of greater than 400 lodges and greater than 75,000 100 rooms. Simply over 72% of them are within the 4 and 5 star class.

On the current FIT Worldwide Tourism Truthful in Havana, Cuba, in Might 2022, the launch of the marketing campaign was held “Distinctive Cuba”. And within the context of the reactivation of tourism, we await the prospect that this yr the determine of over 78,900 houses can be reached. This may characterize a mean annual enhance of 4.5%.

Presently, (this final semester of 2022) What are the principle international airways and their connections with Cuba? Do you assume they’ve improved in passenger transport?

Raul Gonzales – Cuba is linked to the world by way of 43 airways. Among the many most necessary: Air Canada, America Airways, Aeroflot, AeroMéxico Air China, KLM, Air Europa, Air France, Iberia and Copa AirLines with its low value airline “Wingo”. (low-cost costs) working from Colombia.

As an extra determine, we are able to say that purchases of US {dollars} have resumed in Cuba and the opposite foreign currency echange are maintained. Chances are you’ll use Visa, Mastercard, and another manufacturers not issued by the US or its associates. There may be additionally the choice of MLC (Freely Convertible Foreign money) playing cards legitimate for 2 years which aren’t personalised and solely want a 4-digit code for activation and have mounted values ​​in freely convertible currencies which can be used to pay for providers and purchases in vacationer locations in Cuba, funds through QR codes may also be established and digital pre-checks are potential for vacationers.

Varadero, one of many favorites of Brazilians going to Cuba (Credit score: Getty Photographs)

How is Cuba getting ready for the Havana Worldwide Truthful this November?

Raul Gonzales – FIHAV is the biggest and most necessary buying and selling change in Cuba and the Caribbean and some of the consultant of Latin America, after 2 years spent in digital format, it’s held in particular person, in its common location at Expo-Cuba on the 14th to November 18 in its thirty eighth version.

Regardless of the monetary and financial blockade of the US authorities in opposition to our nation, which intensified in instances of pandemic, even so to today we at all times rely on the belief of businessmen from all around the world within the Cuban market, for which we stay up for an awesome participation on this subsequent truthful. On that event we are going to have fun the “Fifth Funding Discussion board”. Actions had been carried out to advertise Cuban exportable funds, which included, as a brand new facet, the manufacturing of non-state types of administration which can be current in our nation. A “Digital Discussion board” can be created in order that enterprise individuals who can not journey to Cuba can take part on-line.

Within the case of Brazil, the participation of greater than 20 entities has already been confirmed, which can be positioned in Pavilion 2 of Expo-Cuba (in Havana) and the promotion for the enterprise group on the truthful is carried out by way of the Brazil-Cuba Enterprise Chamber and with the operator Sanchattour.

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