Cuba’s 36th International Tourism Fair, FITCuba 2016, opened yesterday, May 3, with a gala event in Havana’s Alicia Alonso Grand Theater.Manuel Marrero, Cuban minister of Tourism, noted in his remarks that the fair takes on a special connotation this year since the 60th meeting of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) Commission for the Americas is taking place here at the same time.
First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, emphasized that tourism has become a sector of strategic importance to the country’s development, which Cuba seeks to promote via regional collaboration, not competition.
Marrero discussed the valuable alliance between tourism and culture to be highlighted during FITCuba 2016, with cultural products being featured as attractive options for tourists, along with a focus on the city of Havana.
Canada is the guest country of honor this year, recognition of the nation’s role as Cuba’s number one emissary market. Some 1.3 million Canadians visit the island every year.
The opening gala included musical performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Aragón and Ópera de la Calle.
Joining fair exhibitors and participants for the event were Jorge Cuevas, member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat; Julián González, minister of Culture; René Hernández, deputy minister of Planning and Economy; Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the WTO; Bardish Chagger, Canadian minister of Tourism; industry leaders; and members of the accredited diplomatic corps in Havana. (Granma)