Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cuba to build golf courses, theme parks

Cuba to build golf courses, theme parks
Bloomberg March 31, 2012

Cuba's government plans to build 13 golf courses by 2020 as the
communist island looks to offer more than sun and sand to the 2.7
million people who visit each year, Deputy Tourism Minister Alexis
Trujillo said.

The country also intends to build several theme parks and add 25,000
hotel rooms as it looks to broaden its image, Trujillo said at a news
conference in Havana.

Tourism has become the island's main source of foreign currency since
the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s cut off economic subsidies
and triggered a recession. While the country is famous for the
dilapidated charm of Havana and its cars dating from the 1950s, most
tourists go straight to beach resorts on the Caribbean island.

Visitor numbers rose 7.3 per cent last year after U.S. President Barack
Obama eased travel restrictions and allowed people on religious and
cultural exchanges to visit the island. Almost 285,000 Cuban-Americans
and 21,000 U.S. citizens have travelled to Cuba since then, Trujillo said.

Canadians are by the far the most frequent visitors to the island with
more than 1 million travellers expected in 2012.

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