#Cuba Eyeing Eco Tourism Expansion

Havana, Cuba”s forthcoming 11th International Eco Tourism Seminar (TURNAT, in Spanish) in the province of Holguín, will provide an ideal opportunity for industry experts and professionals to exchange views and to promote Cuban as an attractive destination.

The biennial gathering will take place from September 26-30 this year. Holguin, in the eastern region of Cuba and other provinces nationwide, are increasingly focused on a viable and sustainable eco tourism model, based on environmental protection and conservation.

Nature, adventure and rural tourism, are modalities that make a considerable contribution to the travel industry, both in Cuba but and a majority of other countries.

It is a growing sector on the Caribbean island for reasons that the TURNAT events highlight in particular and the endeavors of the Ecotur Travel Agency that specializes in the field.

Cuba has a comprehensive National System of Protected Areas (SNAP) that control tourism developments in important national and local areas and so-called Special Regions for Sustainable Development, that include 77 National Protected Areas and 134 Local Areas as the result of a program that will continue until 2020.

The Ministry of Tourism regulates technical-professional categories on the basis of a structure for Natural Reserves (for scientific work), National Parks, Ecological Reserves, Outstanding Natural Elements and Flora Reserves.

The list also includes two fauna shelters: Natural Protected Landscapes and Resources Protected Areas. There are 120 well managed protected areas nationwide -58.87% already identified and 86.73% with administration potential- a good part of which are open

to sustainable tourism.

Initially an annual event, TURNAT now is held every two years at a different location to promote Cuba’s stunning natural beauty

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