Viet Nam News
HCM City – Tourism co-operation between Việt Nam and Cuba has great potential, delegates heard at a seminar in HCM City yesterday.
“Cuba is famous in Việt Nam and HCM City as one of the best tourism destinations in the world,” Lê Trương Hiền Hòa, director of the city’s Tourism Promotion Centre, said.
“Co-operation to promote tourism is strong between the two nations, especially in HCM City where many tourism promotion activities are undertaken.”
Hồ Xuân Lâm, deputy director of HCM City ITPC, the organiser of the seminar, said: “The seminar will provide useful information to the business community to invest in the Cuban tourism industry and introduce Cuba’s charms to Vietnamese tourists.”
Indira Lopez Arguelles, Cuba’s consul general in HCM City, said: “The Cuban tourism industry began to see strong growth soon after Cuba and the US had announced the establishment of diplomatic relations in December, 2014.
“Lifting of the embargo was needed for the Cuban private sector to develop strongly, and it is a foundation to promote economic reform.”
She summed up the various policies related to investment in Cuba, such as visa procedures, tourism development policies, incentives for Vietnamese companies that invest in hotels and restaurants, resorts, healthcare services, spas, logistics, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
Cuba has recently started to open up its economy to foreign trade and investment in ports, railway and airports, information technology infrastructure, and mining.
It has prioritised sectors like food processing, and seeks to promote exports of medical services and pharmaceutical products.
Tourism is now its fastest-growing industry and earner of the second highest amount of foreign exchange.
Cuba has beautiful and untouched beaches and a rich history.
Last year a record 4.7 million tourists visited the country, fetching revenues of $3 billion. The country is believed to have the potential to become the second biggest tourism destination in Central America behind only Mexico.
The island nation has 65,000 hotel rooms and 17,000 private hostel rooms for tourists.
It plans to build more hotels and hostels, targeting a total of 108,000 rooms by 2030, and expand Havana airport.
“This is a big opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises in the real estate, restaurant, hotel and hostel businesses,” Hòa said.
Việt Nam and Cuba established diplomatic relations in 1960, and bilateral ties have always been exceptionally close and warm.
Economic, trade and tourism ties have grown rapidly in recent times.
The seminar was attended by executives from 80 enterprises in the tourism, restaurant, hotel and resort, spa, and logistics industries. -- VNS