Industry tour of Cuba set for early 2015

Posted on Written by Reagan Haynes

Cuba is gaining attention as a potential trade partner for the marine industry as some speculate whether the United States will lift its half-century trade embargo with the country.

Marina consultant Richard Graves and Associates is planning a U.S.-sanctioned industry tour of the country for Feb. 18-22, directly after the Miami International Boat Show, to help interested parties save on airfare.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association also has a small delegation of select members touring the island now who are interested in learning more about its industry potential, the NMMA confirmed to Trade Only Today.

“I firmly believe the embargo will soon be lifted. It doesn’t make sense and solves nothing. In fact, most people don’t even know how it started over 50 years ago,” Graves and Associates principal Richard Graves told Trade Only Today. “In recent surveys the majority of Americans believe the embargo should be lifted. It is also interesting to note that most Cubans in the U.S. under 40 also believe the embargo should end.”

Graves told Trade Only that he fears the United States will be left out of potential growth and development if it doesn’t lift the embargo sooner rather than later.

“Spain is building the marinas, France is building the hotels, the Chinese are investing, and even Putin is offering help in the construction of their shipping port—and the U.S. is left out,” Graves said. “Raul Castro has even made an overture to the U.S. to renew relations.”

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and the 16th-largest island in the world.

Anticipating the end of the travel ban, Cuban state enterprises responsible for marine infrastructure have begun an unprecedented push to prepare the island nation for yacht tourism and U.S. boaters. Although there are only 15 marinas with 789 slips, there are plans to add 23 more marinas with more than 5,000 slips, Graves said.

The expansion of Marina Gaviota at Varadero, 90 miles from the Florida Keys, is intended to help augment facilities for large recreational vessels.

Accompanying the marina will be a five-star villa hotel development. Plans show a marina complex akin to Atlantis at Nassau in the Bahamas or St. Tropez in France, only larger.

After extensive renovations and a massive expansion, Marina Gaviota Varadero will become Cuba’s largest and most modern marina. When complete, it will accommodate about 1,200 boats. An official opening is planned for 2015, but vessels are using the marina now.

Last year, Cuban President Raul Castro announced the end of travel restrictions, making it easier for millions of Cubans to leave the communist country.

Parties interested in participating in the tour with Graves must submit paperwork and be approved by Oct. 1.

“NMMA facilitated a [U.S.-sanctioned] research trip to Cuba on behalf of its members with the objective to understand the market and make meaningful contacts and connections that may benefit recreational boating,” NMMA spokeswoman Ellen Hopkins told Trade Only.

The NMMA does not have an official position on the current or future status of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba and continues to abide by the trade restrictions the United States has imposed, she added.

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Comments

11 comments on “Industry tour of Cuba set for early 2015

  1. Pingback: Industry tour of Cuba set for early 2015 « Parker Business Planning

  2. spivgar

    This interaction is long overdue. Politics is one thing; business is another. American businesses deserve to be involved inthe Cuban marketplace. Thank you to NMMA for opening the doors.

  3. Schnitz

    I’m interested! How do I submit paperwork?

    “Parties interested in participating in the tour with Graves must submit paperwork and be approved by Oct. 1.”

  4. Reagan Haynes

    Hi, I’m sorry the link to the release wasn’t included. Here’s the press release and contact info: PRESS RELEASE – DATELINE: Fort Lauderdale Florida – August 10, 2014

    RICHARD GRAVES & ASSOCIATES
    Cuban Marinas prepare for the future and the lifting of the U.S. Travel Ban for Boaters.
    Now is the time for the U.S. Boating and Marine Industry to develop contacts and relationships with its Cuban counterparts through people to people exchanges. In order to introduce the U.S. Industry to the Cuban Marine Industry, Richard Graves & Associates in cooperation with “Other Cuban Journeys”, an OFAC licensed tour organizer has developed a four night/ five-day itinerary that will allow interactions with the Cuban Marine Industry and its experts. This trip will give rare access to marinas and contact with its workers. It will also immerse the traveler in the rich Cuban culture and its people.

    According to one estimate, 60,000 U.S. vessels over 25 feet LOA will visit Cuba in the first year after the end of the travel ban.

    Anticipating the end of the travel ban, Cuban state enterprises responsible for marine infrastructure have begun an unprecedented push to ready the island nation for yacht tourism and U.S. boaters.

    • According to one estimate, 60,000 U.S. vessels over 25 feet LOA will visit Cuba in the first year after the end of the travel ban. Though the number may seem high, the possibility is worrisome to business and government leaders in the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean, who fear losing marine revenue to a revitalized Cuba

    Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and the 16th largest island in the world

    • Although there are only 15 marinas with 789 slips, plans are to ad 23 additional marinas with more than 5,000 slips. The expansion of Marina Gaviota at Varadero, 90 miles from the Florida Keys, is intended to help augment facilities for big recreational vessels. Accompanying the marina will be a five-star villa hotel development. Plans show a marina complex more akin to Atlantis at Nassau in the Bahamas or St. Tropez in France, only larger. After extensive renovations and a massive expansion, Marina Gaviota Varadero will become Cuba’s largest and most modern marina. When complete, it will accommodate about 1,200 boats. An official opening is planned for 2015 but vessels are using the marina now.

    The above is only a brief view of what is happening in the pleasure boating industry in Cuba.

    CONTACT INFORMATION: Richard Graves – 954.401.4096 – Email: rvgraves@rgassoc. – Web: http://www.rgassoc.com

    Source: Richard Graves & Associates – 1000 SE 4th Street – Fort Lauderdale. FL 33301
    KEY WORDS: Marinas, Marine Industry, Yachting, Cuba, Cuba Travel, Cuban Marinas,

  5. Rvgraves

    Other Cuban Journeys Presents
    Cuba U.S. Marine Industry Cultural journey
    Dates – February 18th thru February 22nd 2015
    (After the Miami 2015 Boat Show)

    Join
    Richard Graves and Associates
    For a first hand look at the Cuban marine industry
    while emersing yourself in Cuban culture

    The tour and info is available on my web site http://www.rgassoc.com/study-tours

    Richard (Dick) Graves

  6. John McAuliff

    Richard Graves deserves strong congratulations for his business ifocused trip to Cuba but is overoptimistic if he thinks the embargo “will soon be lifted”. That will require legislation which is unlikely as long as Republicans control the House.

    However, President Obama can suspend virtually any part of the embargo if he deems it is not in US national interest.

    He should start by authorizing a general license for all purposeful travel so individuals, families, friends and business organizations can create their own less expensive programs without bureaucratic interference by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

    To date the President seems blocked by opposition from Senators Menendez, Rubio and Cruz so he needs encouragement from others.

    A modest step is to sign our on-line letter here: http://tinyurl.com/TravelFreedom

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

  7. John McAuliff

    Richard Graves deserves strong congratulations for his business focused trip to Cuba but is overoptimistic if he thinks the embargo “will soon be lifted”. That will require legislation which is unlikely as long as Republicans control the House.

    However, President Obama can suspend virtually any part of the embargo if he deems it is not in US national interest.

    He should start by authorizing a general license for all purposeful travel so individuals, families, friends and business organizations can create their own less expensive programs without bureaucratic interference by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

    To date the President seems blocked by opposition from Senators Menendez, Rubio and Cruz so he needs encouragement from others.

    A modest step is to sign our on-line letter here: http://tinyurl.com/TravelFreedom

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

  8. Pingback: Industry tour of Cuba set for early 2015 | Cubaverdad

  9. Pingback: La industria marítima prepara viaje a Cuba para inicios de 2015 | nuevodebatecuba

  10. Pingback: La industria marítima prepara viaje a Cuba para inicios de 2015 | Noticias de mi Tierra

  11. Pingback: Industria marítima de Estados Unidos se interesan por el desarrollo del turismo en Cuba |

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