Commercial Director of the Tourism Ministry, Jose Manuel Bisbe, said the government was in the process of recruiting a large group of independent business as accommodation and private restaurants with excellent service.
The state-owned travel agencies will promote these offers in their packages and programs during the peak tourism season, running from November till the spring, Bisbe was quoted by local daily Juventud Rebelde as saying.
Since taking office in 2008, the government of President Raul Castro is promoting efforts to update its socialist economic model, retreating from running just about everything on the Caribbean island, including accommodation, restaurants and cafes.
Bisbe highlighted efforts to renovate the country’s main airports, including the more than 10-million investment at the Terminal Three of Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport.
Bisbe also revealed plans of opening new direct flights linking the country to its European markets such as Poland, Spain and Denmark, as well as an expansion of the weekly travel by Air France-KLM.
Cuba runs three cruise terminals and 10 international airports. Tourism is Cuba’s second largest source of currency incomes, reporting 6 billion U.S. dollars a year, followed by the export of medical services.
The island received 2.8 million foreign tourists in 2012, representing an increase by 4.5 percent over the previous year. It is expected to receive 3 million foreigners this year.