U.S. company Starwood starts managing Cuban hotel

American hospitality giant Starwood began managing a hotel owned by the Cuban military on June 28 in Havana.

(Soundbite) Jorge Giannattasio, Chief of LatAm Operations of Starwood
“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 both countries and it allows travelers from all over the world to experience a unique getaway.”

The facade of the 186-room hotel in Havana’s upscale Miramar neighborhood was emblazoned with the logo of Starwood’s Four Points by Sheraton business travel brand.

(Soundbite) Carlos Latuff, President of Gaviota Cuba Tourism Company
“This historic moment opens a new chapter in Cuba’s tourism industry, where the globally known U.S. firm Starwood joins Gaviota to operate this hotel with prestige and profession.”

Cuba received 1.5 million foreign tourists in the first four months of 2016, up 13.5 percent over the same period last year.

Most of the visitors came from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Britain.

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