Melia Cuba’s A Game Of Rooms

with Nina Slawek

Melia Cuba’s Brenda Bradley

(L-R) Marti Aragones, Ed Radonic, Jarold Muino & Ross Rodgers

And they’re off!

Tammy Cecco, Travel Live and Lawrence Elliott, Sunwing

Transat’s Suzanne Diefenbaker Sinking It!

It’s tough being popular. But, even when competing with other Christmas time events, Melia Cuba commands the attention of the industry. From agents to wholesalers, all hailed the call and turned up for their Playdium soiree outside Toronto last week.

The queen for the night, Brenda Bradley, presided over an eager crowd of admirers who waited patiently for the games to begin. There was no sword fighting but bumper cars, car racing, pin balls, flashing lights and bleeping score signals filled the arena. Fortunately, the only casualties involved gentle pushing on the way to redeeming prize tickets.

Why all the fuss? As Lord Marti of Aragones put it, Cuba is more than a little hot right now. Sales are up across the board and have continued despite the October 30 th price increase. But being a realist, Marti does not lose his head, adding, “You always have to take the good times with a bit of caution. This is the travel industry where anything can happen.” The problem (if too much success can be a problem) is that, with only 7% of Melia Cuba’s capacity in Havana, there are not enough rooms to meet the huge demand for the historic city.

According to Brenda “We are extremely pleased with our numbers. There was such a rush for booking in October, but we see that November is also up over last year.” Adding that “we are bringing on more properties to meet the growing market. The Meliá Trinidad in central Cuba is slated to open in 2017 and in 2018 we have 2 very exciting projects opening – the luxury Paradisus is opening in popular Cayo Santa Maria and in Varadero we are opening a 496 room Melia Internacional. And because we are seeing such a growth in multi-generational travel, we are introducing a Family Concierge service at the Paradisus Varadero Hotel in early 2016.”

Brenda also took the opportunity to decree that with the fame and fortune afforded by Cuba “there is definitely an opportunity for more lift from operators”. Operators, take heed.

(will not be published)