HAVANA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Cuba is looking to boost its nautical tourism by building better infrastructure, including a modern cruise ship terminal in Cienfuegos, a city on the southern coast of Cuba, according to official daily Granma.
Jose Enrique Gonzalez, Tourism Ministry (Mintur) delegate for the region of Cienfuegos, said the Transport Ministry was in charge of investment in the project.
“We’re thinking big, we’re talking about something world-class,” Granma quoted Gonzalez as saying, as he presented a mockup of the ambitious project.
Cienfuegos, located some 250 km southeast of the capital Havana, is preparing to welcome some 53 cruise ships this winter high season, the daily said.
Joseph R. Daniel, director of business at Mintur, said the foreign investment portfolio offered by the tourism sector included management contracts with marina operators and nautical service providers in a bid to raise standards of service.
The development plan, valid until 2030, aims to establish tourism as one of the main engines of the national economy, with nautical tourism a priority sector, said Alexander Sierra, Mintur’s development CEO.
Domingo Cisneros, chairman of the Marlin Marinas Business Group, said his group is now working to promote water sports, from sport fishing to diving, kite surfing, yachting, sea kayaking and boat adventures, mainly in the beachside resorts of Varadero, in the province of Matanzas, and Cayo Coco, an island in central Cuba.
The objective is to offer international visitors more upscale tourism products, he said.
Cuba’s tourism industry hopes to draw 3 million international visitors a year by promoting not only nautical tourism, but also golf and ecotourism.
Tourism is one of the main sources of revenue for the island.