Starwood is first US hotel firm to invest in Cuba
With President Obama's historic visit to Cuba – the first in nearly 90 years – signalling the final phase of the thawing of relations between the country and the US, the floodgates will soon open for many more visitors to go to the country.
Now the first US hotel company to agree a deal to invest in properties on the island has been announced as being Starwood Hotels.
First deal since 1959
Starwood will renovate and then run three hotels in Havana, Cuba's capital city, and the deal means it becomes the first US company to agree terms with the Cuban authorities since the country's revolution in 1959. The company has said it will be making a multi-million dollar investment which is needed in order for the three hotels to come up to its standards. One of the hotels Starwood will manage is the famous Hotel Inglaterra, which opened in 1875.
However, Starwood is currently the target of what could be the biggest takeover of an American company by a Chinese business. Anbang Insurance already owns New York's Waldorf Astoria and has made a bid worth $13 billion for the group.
The Obama administration has already made travel between the two countries easier and many airlines and cruise lines are looking at ways in which they can take advantage of this new market.
Marriott has also confirmed discussions with a view to them being able to "develop a hospitality relationship with potential partners" in Cuba and Chief Executive Arne Sorenson accompanied President Obama on his trip signalling how seriously the company was taking the latest developments.
Sorenson said: “We are gratified to receive permission from the US government to pursue business opportunities in Cuba.
“While there is still work to do before any agreement is reached, we are actively pursuing relationships in the hospitality sector.”
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Date Created: 22 March 2016