Bogged down by financial woes, in the midst of a financial meltdown the Cuban economy doe’s not need more “ideals” but, they subsist.


Cuba´s economy, fundamentally dependent on tourism, continues to ruin relations with Travel professionals and foreign operators located on the island or worldwide. The primary motives being the dreaded “stop sales” emanated by Cuban firms and tourist enterprises to their foreign partner’s months before the next high season approaches with apparently no sales concluded for the said future season. Such is the need for direct cash into government and “non disclosed” coffers that some tourism professionals are reporting that just as they emerge from high season they are informed that no bookings will be accepted for the next high season. This year has been acutely affected. One Cuban agency manager stated – “on the 1st of June we were blocked from selling many services by Cubanacan only to find that Hotels and Car Bookings we´re non existent”. A second operator commented on September 3rd that she had already been blocked from selling almost all vital services in December while also learning from a confidant at her local representative agency that they had no pre-bookings…


One operator commented – “MINTUR (Cuba´s tourism Ministry) has its golden boys, people who they support and to whom they give cart blanche depending on how the wind blows. Some of these foreign agencies with local “power” tie up all services through friendships and acquaintances in MINTUR depriving us of services. Only weeks before high season do they release occupancies and unsold inventory to agencies like ours” – A very odd move for a country requiring revenue.


It seems though that the age old communist favoritism is brewing massive collapse in the Cuban travel network. Companies are leaving in their droves and local suppliers are finding it increasing difficult to fulfill pre-agreed quotas with MINTUR. Instead of allowing free access on the “first come first served” notion, requiring prepayment for services, even months in advance, Cuba´s MINTUR sustains a “preferred agent base”, included in which, are a select few agents provided with the golden egg of future tourism only to be released to “menial agents” and international foreign operators when their cohorts have failed to fulfill, sadly, weeks before high season and too late to rectify the failure.


This scenario appears year-on-year since 2004 and has become more acute under Raul Castro. Basically, Cuban officials hold back services giving its “chosen few” first pickings only to release countless untold inventories of Hotels, cars and other services weeks before main season, ultimately remaining unsold.


This is having a catastrophic effect on Cuba´s tourism message via foreign operators plus, a compounded effect relating to lost revenue for Cuba´s tourism industry.


The upcoming holiday seasons of Christmas and New Years seems to be shaping up in similar fashion. Christmas and New Year being “sold out” since July 30th for cars and Hotels with actually almost no bookings existing for these periods.


Messing up the countries income?

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