New emphasis placed on developing alternative forms of tourism

26th September 2022

Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, has said that while Cuba will continue to promote itself as a sun and beach destination it will be placing greater emphasis in future on nature and other alternative forms of tourism.

Speaking at the opening of Turnat 2022, Cuba’s annual tourism and nature event, Marrero, who was formerly the island’s Tourism Minister, suggested that the opportunity for tourism relating to the natural environment was “of immense magnitude.”

“We have advanced on the path of knowing how to appreciate it, take care of it and develop it, and in a sustainable way begin to make it known, commercialise it. And we are making good steps, although we must recognise that we still have a long way to go to exploit the immense potential that we have,” he told the forum’s participants.

In his remarks, Marrero indicated that a part of the future emphasis would be on tourism that touches together the beach, nature, culture, and history. The need now, he said, was to perfect and promote tour tourism. Not only was this in great demand, he said, but it offers the client a more complete vision of what the Cuban tourist product is. He cited as an example the recovery and preservation of the first villages founded by the Spanish as cultural and heritage destinations, observing that young people internationally were interested in historic tourism.

Marrero also told participants at Turnat that Cuba had yet to fully exploit its potential in relation to health, sport, gastronomic and bar tours, all segments that Cuba must compete in, he said. He indicated that other areas for development being actively developed are agrotourism, accessible tourism, and adventure tourism.

In his remarks he recognised the importance of quality to those who want to experience Cuba’s natural environment. “There are existing projects, and others that are underway of great quality” he said. But this will require, he stressed, “purging and conceptualising each one of the destinations” and “engendering through training and promotion, the culture of nature in all actors and  communities.”

Turnat 2022 brought together representatives of travel agencies, tour operators, as well as nature, adventure, rural and accessible tourism operators from multiple countries and from within Cuba.

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger

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