Hotels Magazine, a leading industry publication, has released its compilation of the world's 325 largest hotel companies and consortia.
The list is topped by the likes of the U.K's InterContinental Group (#1), the U.S.'s Hilton (#2) and Marriott (#3), and France's Accor (#6).
Meanwhile, the largest Latin America-based hotel conglomerate is Cuba's Grupo Turismo Gaviota (#55).
Think about this: Gaviota -- on its own -- is larger than any Mexican, Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinian, etc., hotel company.
Of course, Gaviota is owned by the Cuban military ("MINFAR"), through a conglomerate called GAESA (headed by Raul Castro's son-in-law, General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas).
Also appearing independently on the list are Cuba's Grupo Cubanacan (#171), Hoteles Islazul (#231), Grupo Hotelero Gran Caribe (#287).
These are all also owned by Cuba's MINFAR, through GAESA.
Thus, if calculated together, GAESA would be the 34th largest hotel company in the world -- ahead of the Walt Disney Company.
And that's just hotels. It doesn't include all of the other business sectors (retail, transportation, arms trafficking, etc.) under GAESA's direct control.
This is the sad legacy that millions of Canadian and European tourists have left Cuba over the last two decades.
Has it brought freedom to the Cuban people? Or prosperity? Quite the contrary.
Meanwhile, the Castro regime, along with its apologists, operatives and cohorts, lobby tirelessly for the U.S. to add millions of its tourists to this calculation.
That would surely place GAESA in the Top 10.
at 8:58 AM Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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