A Museum of Tourism in the Cuban capital
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The construction of a Museum of Tourism in the Cuban capital’s Centro Habana neighborhood — traditionally its most commercial — is one of the projects planned to attract more visitors to the city, according to Manuel Marrero Cruz, the island’s minister of tourism.

“The museum will display the entire history of the pre- and post-Revolutionary periods,” said Marrero Cruz, who spoke at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in Madrid. “We have sufficient material and history for the project to be very interesting.”

The construction of the museum would come in the context of a broader project to create a “commercial zone of reference” that would have its nerve center on Havana’s Galiano Street.

“We want tourists to use their time to the maximum, which is why we are going to close down half of the street to make it a pedestrian mall, and develop a strategy to open restaurants and hotel establishments,” the minister said.

The capital’s seaside highway, the Malecón, will also be transformed to adapt to the times.

“The plan for the Malecón is to create an atmosphere where its charms can be enjoyed at all hours, adding a number of services that it currently lacks, such as zones dedicated to leisure and entertainment,” Marrero Cruz said.

The operation of “tourist buses,” an old project of the Ministry, would offer a different image of the city to travelers.

“This year, the government has heavily invested in urban transport, and we are finally going to be able to do it,” Marrero Cruz said.

Cultural offerings for tourists would have their maximum exponent in the Havana Carnival time and in the route of Cuban bands and orchestras, which would perform in different parts of the city.

The government expects to receive more than 2.5 million visitors to the island this year.

“Cuba is not just sun and beaches anymore, and Havana is a destination destined to be successful,” the minister said.