HAVANA, Cuba, Wednesday June 21, 2017 – The world’s largest hotel company says decision by US President Donald Trump to reverse some of his predecessor’s Cuba policies, putting back restrictions that had been lifted, may change the plans it has for properties in the Caribbean island.
Marriott International, the only American company with a hotel property in Cuba, said in a statement that the “full effect on our current and planned operations in Cuba may depend on related forthcoming regulations.”
Under the rollback announced by Trump last week, American citizens will be prohibited from staying in US-based hotels that operate in Cuba in partnership with the Cuban government.
Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson said it would be “exceedingly disappointing to see the progress that has been made in the last two years halted and reversed by the administration”.
“We have invested significant resources establishing a presence in Cuba, and with one hotel open and another in the pipeline we have just begun our work creating opportunity and a more vibrant tourism sector on the island,” the company said in a statement.
“We will continue to urge the Trump administration and Congress to recognize and utilize travel as a strategic tool in efforts to improve relations with Cuba, allowing us to be part of a promising future, as opposed to reverting to the policies of the past.”
Last year, Marriott acquired another hotel group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which signed a deal to operate three hotels – the Inglaterra, set to open in December 2019; the Hotel Santa Isabel; and the former Hotel Quinta Avenida, which was rebranded a Four Points by Sheraton and opened last year.