After President Trump’s Rollback, Marriott’s Future In Cuba Uncertain

by Jessica Montevago
After President Trump’s Rollback, Marriott’s Future In Cuba Uncertain

Four Points Havana—the company’s first hotel in Cuba—opened last year. 


Marriott International may change its future plans for hotels in Cuba in the wake of President Trump’s decision to reverse Obama-era policy last week.

Marriott said in a statement that the “full effect on our current and planned operations in Cuba may depend on related forthcoming regulations.”

Marriott, which acquired Starwood last year to become the world’s largest hotel company, received U.S. treasury approval to do business in Cuba in 2016. Starwood signed a deal to operate three hotels—the Inglaterra, set to open in December 2019, the Hotel Santa Isabel and the former Hotel Quinta Avenida, which was reflagged as a Four Points by Sheraton. The Four Points Havana opened last year.

“We have invested significant resources establishing a presence in Cuba, and with one hotel open and another in the pipeline we have just begun our work creating opportunity and a more vibrant tourism sector on the island,” Marriott said in a statement.

“We will continue to urge the Trump administration and Congress to recognize and utilize travel as a strategic tool in efforts to improve relations with Cuba, allowing us to be part of a promising future, as opposed to reverting to the policies of the past.”

Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson said it would be "exceedingly disappointing" to see progress made in last two years halted and reversed.

Last Friday, the president announced he would roll back Obama administration policies that allowed private U.S. businesses to engage in financial transactions with the Cuban military, which controls a share of the country’s tourism and hotel sector. While officials said Mr. Trump’s intent is “not to disrupt existing transactions that have [already] occurred,” other U.S. hotel companies may have missed the window to enter the Cuban market.

Foreign hoteliers will continue to open properties to meet the increasing demand for luxury hotels. Swiss-based Kempinski Hotels recently opened Havana’s first five-star property, the Gran Hotel Manzana, and French group Accor and Iberostar of Spain have luxury hotels in the works.

The number of U.S. visitors to Cuba rose 74% last year. With Americans unable to visit as tourists, only permitted through 12 categories, like educational travel, some expect the number of tourists to drop off, affecting further hotel construction.   

  1
  1
Tip of the Day

“Tack on days to other trips and conferences for exploring other properties. Get the most bang for your buck on every airfare you purchase, and use any free or discounted nights you have earned to make it an affordable and personalized fam." - Suzanne Haire, Travel Advisor

Daily Top List

Five Ways to Improve Your Work Performance

1. Organize and prioritize

2. Stop multitasking

3. Avoid distractions

4. Manage Interruptions

5. Be a great finisher

Source: IRIS.xyz

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
G Adventures New Family Tours Target the Gap in the Family Market
G Adventures New Family Tours Target the Gap in the Family Market

The brand set out to make the tours affordable and accessible, and to take family members of all ages to iconic destinations together.

The Unstoppable Trend: Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere
The Unstoppable Trend: Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere

Many suppliers are reducing or eliminating solo travel supplements, prompting even more solo travelers to book trips.

National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures Open for Booking
National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures Open for Booking

The trips are all led by two specially trained Chief Experience Officers who are trained to cater the trips to both the interest of the adults and the children.

Adventures by Disney Reveals Lineup of 2020 Itineraries
Adventures by Disney Reveals Lineup of 2020 Itineraries

Among the offerings is a 10-day trip to Egypt, including a new three-part tour and experiences tailored specifically for adults.

Journese Launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ with Commission Protection
Journese Launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ with Commission Protection

Good news for travel advisors, the plan features 100% commission protection and a simplified cancellation process.

Tour Operators Predict Rapid Recovery After Notre Dame Fire
Tour Operators Predict Rapid Recovery After Notre Dame Fire

Unable to say for sure, most tour operators suspect the enthusiasm for France may actually be heightened over the tragedy.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks