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Cuba taps into luxury tourist market

In Havana, there’s a shop selling a camera for more than $25,000 — roughly 850 times the average monthly wage in Cuba.

The Gran Hotel Manzana, the first ever five-star establishment in Havana, opened in 2017 in a sumptuous historic building that was, at the beginning of the 20th century, the island’s first shopping mall.

‘Feels like Miami’The hotel terrace offers stunning views over Havana’s colorful historic neighborhood, where many of the Cuban residents live in dilapidated buildings that have fallen into disrepair or have vegetation sprouting from them.

The Kempinski group, which hopes to open two or three more hotels in Cuba, is of course not the only chain to show an interest in the ultraluxury market.

U.S. blacklistHowever, there is a slight catch: in every case, the hotels are owned by Gaviota, the Cuban army’s branch dedicated to tourism.

Beyond hotels, developers have even more ideas to entice those with deep pockets.

The opening of a luxury hotel means Cuba has turned a corner, Perello added.

That isn’t great news for Cuba, which welcomed 4.7 million tourists in 2018 — it needs the cash.






Article source: http://www.dailystar.com.lb//Business/International/2019/Mar-11/478469-cuba-taps-into-luxury-tourist-market.ashx