Cuban tourism competitiveness: Anything beyond sun, beaches and son music?

Publication date:
Mario Raúl de la Peña, David Martín-Barroso, Jacobo Núñez, Juan A. Núñez-Serrano, Jaime Turrión and Francisco J. Velázquez

This chapter makes a comparative analysis of the Cuban tourism sector’s competitive position in relation to its Caribbean environment. To do this, competitiveness analysis tools based on the behaviour of  international tourist flows are used to build a statistical model from which a counterfactual can be estimated for comparing real tourist flows. Short, medium and long-term competitiveness indicators are also calculated, as well as indicators on the growth potential of a destination’s tourism sector and the intensity of the technical change that has taken place in the sector. The results suggest that Cuba has notably improved its competitive situation. The work also shows that important changes are underway in the Cuban tourism mix towards the international average, making it less dependent on the traditional “sun and beach” tourism, which may create greater potential for future tourism sector development on the island. In this sense, the need to develop tourist segments with greater added value and tourism potential is highlighted. Finally, the short-, medium- and long-term competitive results provide evidence of the significant increase in the country’s tourism potential, which is undoubtedly due to a degree of technical progress.

Authors:  Mario Raúl de la Peña, David Martín-BarrosoJacobo Núñez, Juan A. Núñez-SerranoJaime Turrión y Francisco J. Velázquez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid y Universidad Autónoma de Madrid