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A Seagull with Lots of Ambitions / 14ymedio
Posted on August 12, 2015

14ymedio, Havana, 8 August 2015 — The government corporation Gaviota
(Spanish for “Seagull”), the leader in to Cuba, announced on
August 6th that it will double the number of guest rooms it offers
throughout the island from 24,000 to 50,000 by the year 2020. Since its
creation 27 years ago, Gaviota has been linked to the Cuban Armed
Forces, and many of its executives are retired high-ranking military

One of Gaviota’s most important projects is next year’s opening of a
five-star inside of what is known as La Manzana de Gómez (“Gómez’s
City Block”), opposite Havana’s Central Park. The Swiss hotel chain
Kempinski, one of the oldest in Europe, will be in charge of managing
its 246 guest rooms.

During its pre-revolutionary splendor, La Manzana de Gómez was one of
the most important shopping centers of the capital, but it began quickly
deteriorating by the end of the 1960’s, eventually ending up in ruins. A
couple of years ago, everything housed there –including a ­– was
relocated elsewhere. A chain link fence now encircles the building where
a multitude of laborers work virtually round the clock constructing the
new facilities.

Gaviota’s other plans include the 2017 reopening of the Packard Hotel
with 300 guest rooms, and the Prado y Malecón Hotel in 2018 with 200
rooms. There has also been talk of remodeling the Regis, El Gran, and
the Metropolitano Hotels, all located in the capital’s historic center.

Gaviota’s other projects include hotel development on Varadero Beach,
Holguín Province, and the archipelago off the northern coast of Villa
Clara, Ciego de Ávila, and Camagüey Provinces. Still, the main objective
will be to position Havana as one of the main destinations for urban
sightseeing in the Caribbean.

More than two million foreign tourists have travelled to Cuba during the
first half of 2015. American tourists are the group whose presence has
increased the most. So far this year, 90,000 of them entered Cuba, 54%
more than during the same period in 2014.

Translated by José Badué

Source: A Seagull with Lots of Ambitions / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba –

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