Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Evolving Service Qulture of Cuban Tourism: A Case Study

Henthorne, Tony L. and George, Babu P. and Williams, Alvin J. (2009): The Evolving Service Qulture of Cuban Tourism: A Case Study. Published in: TOURISMOS: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism , Vol. 5, No. 2 (20 October 2010): pp. 129-143.

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The case examines the impressive growth of tourism in Cuba. It analyzes tourism development in a society striving to navigate its way economically amid numerous social and political challenges. The Cuban experiment with tourism is a short-term mega success. However, it is highly uncertain whether long-term sustainability can be maintained without the appropriate managerial changes at all levels. This paper highlights challenges in the tourism employment sector – training, supervisory issues, and performance evaluation, within a centrally-controlled bureaucratic system. Of specific interest is the disconnection between the natural hospitability of the Cuban people and low levels of tourist satisfaction stemming from a lack of professional hospitality. The paper concludes by focusing on the high relevance of the Cuban cultural identity as a key motivator undergirding the demand for tourism. However, with the rapid growth of tourism, strains are occurring in the cultural realm, thus requiring immediate policy intervention for sustained positive results.

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