Cuba to attract more cruising sailors with new marinas
Cruising sailors are being sought as part of Cuba's push to increase its
tourism income. New rules governing the building of marinas by foreign
investors promise an upgrade to the available facilities along the
coastline of the island country.
The Cuban State Council has issued a decree allowing 99-year leases on
state-owned land to be provided to overseas investors for residential
construction. This is important as the financial viability of any
marina-related development would need things such as condominiums to
make then work.
It was at the country's annual International Tourism Fair that their
Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero, made the announcement. 'With the
objective of developing regions that today are virgin, a policy was
approved that permits real estate development associated with tourism,
fundamentally golf courses, marinas and other complementary tourist
investments,' Marrero told a news conference.
To date Cuba has one internationally known marina and two golf courses.
There are already a series of projects in various stages of development,
including new marina capacity.
Miami based Cuban specialist lawyer sees the announcement as very
significant. He was quoted as saying 'It signals that the Raúl Castro
government is moving to open up the economy towards the Vietnam model.
Fidel and his group are not opposed or cannot stop the moves.'
Foster & Partners is one of the groups reported to be creating a
development for a British-Spanish group at Bahia Honda in the western
Pinar del Rio province. As well as golf courses, the development will
include a marina with at lease 200 berths and almost 2,000 condominiums.
Developments are also planned Varadero and Jibaco, both to the east of
Havana, by Canadian and Spanish investors.