TRAVEL GAZETTE – U.S. hotel and leisure company Starwood on Tuesday officially started to run a Cuban hotel, marking a new sign of thawing ties between Havana and Washington since the restoration of diplomatic relations.
The 186-room Quinta Avenida in the Havana’s classy Miramar neighborhood, which was run by Cuban tourism company Gaviota, changed its name and logo to Starwood’s Four Points by Sheraton.
“Starwood becomes the first U.S. company to operate in Cuba after more than 55 years. With this iconic opening, we are building bridges between the two countries,” Jorge Giannattasio, chief of Starwood’s
Latin American operations, told the opening ceremony.
The deal was signed in March before U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic visit to the island.
Starwood will begin to operate another hotel in downtown Havana by the end of August.
Cuba received 1.5 million tourists in the first four months of 2016, up 13.5 percent from the same period last year, due to more visitors from the United States and its traditional markets of Canada, Germany and Britain.