Cuban economy doe's not need more "ideals" but, they subsist.
Written by: Staff, on September 30th, 2009
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 were 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
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?
The Cuba Blog - Cuba News, Politics, Events, Travel Info, International
Affairs, Local Gossip featured writers » Blog Archive » Bogged down by
financial woes, in the midst of a financial meltdown the Cuban economy
doe's not need more "ideals" but, they subsist. (30 September 2009)