MINTUR and Self-Employment Present and Future Alliance

MINTUR and Self-Employment Present and Future Alliance

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La falta de suministro estable de productos es una de las amenazas que Zaida Vidal ve en el camino. Foto: De la autora

This way have turned effective the steady contracts where the general regulations for vacation groups are established organized from abroad for the agencies to receive accommodation and gastronomy services at the home and Family Restaurants, a step is being taken without problems, feeling neither fear nor distrust; because it is not the case to compete between state and non-state entities but complement themselves.

Everybody is included

“Since 2012 this type of employment started although in 2013 was its takeoff moment,” Paula Vazquez Diaz, commerce specialist from the provincial delegation from MINTUR (Minister of Tourism) said.

“Everything began by a study of the renting houses and the family restaurants in search to identify their main potentials, until they definitely established contract relations with 99 owners of houses and 21 restaurants.”

Cubatur and Havanatur are the vanguard in this modality, while Ecotur and Travels Cubanacan, for several reasons, have not joined this determination.

But undoubtedly “Cuban specialist” is the international group of tour operators and travelling agencies Havanatur S.A., widening the horizon to the neighboring localities of Baracoa (new houses and restaurants) and Bayamo (15 houses), with designs of facilities for commendation and gastronomy services.

“This is a strategy in search of a better organization and quality of services,” Evangelio Venero Boza, director of eastern south Havanatur said. We also appoint activists in each facility, so, if there is any problem that person can contact us and the solution is taken as soon as possible.

“These are the first steps; the consolidation of the activity will come later. We hope the groups of tourists come in an organized way, because they are arriving now without previous contracts from abroad for their stay and feeding in non-state facilities.

“This should be more fluent from October on, because in the sale offices abroad there are the offers and there have come to Santiago de Cuba, representatives from foreign travelling agencies, who when receiving the services of the non-state entities have shown great satisfaction.”

The other side of the coin

Zaida Vidal and Abelino Vazquez are the owners of El Palenquito one of the most famous private restaurants in Santiago de Cuba city. They are included in the list of Paladars Havanatur has hired.

“We believe this working relation with a prestigious entity is a good opportunity, Zaida said. We received here a group of directives from foreign agencies and we are just waiting we have great presence of touristic groups organized, something that most promote our business, but it is a big challenge.”

Zaida’s worries are shared with her husband, who considers the conditions to be able to offer quality to this new relation between state and non-state entities are not fully createdg.

“It is a chaos the topic of supplies, Abelino said in a hard tone. There is no the priority needed by the self employees to purchase the products and basic consumables, and with a good invoice to keep offers without illegalities.

“You can spend a whole day in the city trying to find napkins, fresh shrimps, beers, soft drinks or juices; the last thing is that the majority of the places just sell you 24 beers, no more, although you show them your ID as self employee, and it is really difficult.”

As palliative to some of these problems, Havanatur in this territory had the initiative to establish an agreement with the foreign currency collector shops to, in an extent, informed the owners of Rent Rooms and Family Restaurants of the existence of merchandise of high demand for those places.

“They hire us either by phone of E-mail and this way we have been able to purchase some of the products with less agony, Zaida explained. Nevertheless the topic of the sale of the professional consumables such as stoves of great capacity, blenders or the liquefied gas is still a problem.”

Although there are all these problems, self employees have signed contracts with the territorial representations from MINTUR, they believe this is a great opportunity for their businesses.

This is also the opinion of Gustavo Lara and Octavio Portuondo, owners of big houses for Room Rent, who even appreciate the exigencies for quality done by Havanatur to include them in their catalogs of private residences at the disposition of organized groups from abroad, because such demands contribute with more comfort and presence to their businesses.

Fernando Cortes Cedeño, manager of El Colonial Restaurant, where Santiago de Cuba’s culture has a privileged space with the elaboration of typical Cuban food, also tanks this opportunity with this alliance, a step that shows it is possible to advance much more in the materialization of an authentic Cuban tourism with the participation of the state and non-state entities.


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