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Cuba, China agree to boost collaboration in tourism sector

Updated: Sep 17,2015 2:12 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese and Cuban authorities signed a memorandum of understanding on Sept 16 to boost cooperation in the tourism sector during a bilateral forum in Havana.

The document was signed by Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero, and head of China’s National Tourism Administration Li Jinzao, who has been visiting the island since Sept 15 with a business delegation.

Both parties expressed their hope to identify new commercial opportunities in the tourism industry through this document.

With this objective, the delegation will tour Varadero, one of Cuba’s main seaside resorts, 140 km east of Havana.

China and Cuba are currently seeking to create joint ventures to boost real estate development, mostly in Havana. Other joint projects include building golf courses are seen as an alternative to help diversify the tourism offering of the island-nation.

In parallel, Air China has confirmed that it will soon begin operating direct flights from Beijing to Havana, a move set to bring more Chinese tourists to the island.

In 2014, China was one of Cuba’s main sources of tourists with 28,239 travellers heading there, a 27 percent rise compared with 2013.