Cuba at a crossroads: Can the US hospitality industry help shape a 'new Cuba'?

October 16, 2007

An analysis of the potential relationship of Cuba and United States tourism interests by Sergei Khrushchev and two coauthors, published in the November 2007 issue of the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, suggests that the U.S. hospitality industry can begin to help bridge the economic gap between Cuba and the United States.

As the son of the former Russian premier, Khrushchev has the unusual position of living in the U.S. but having dealt with both the Cuban people and Fidel Castro. Together with his coauthors, Tony L. Henthorne, Ph.D. and Michael S. LaTour, Ph.D., the article explains their personal experiences and their recent qualitative research in Cuba. The authors found a deep distrust between the people of the two countries, while, at the same time, U.S. dollars are desired in the Cuban economy. The authors contend that, if the current embargo was lifted, U.S. hospitality industry sponsored research could be a way for the U.S. to get its "foot in the door" in Cuba, while dispelling some of the distrust of America.

"We see a historic opportunity for profitable investment in a 'new Cuba,'" write the authors. "Not only can the U.S. hospitality industry participate in shaping that new Cuba, in partnership with locals, but we contend that now is the time to advance prescriptive, forward-thinking insight designed to shift the thinking of the U.S. business community about Cuba and, in so doing, shift the thinking of the Cuban government, businesses, and people about their neighbors to the north."
-end-
The article, "Cuba at the Crossroads: The Role of the U.S. Hospitality Industry in Cuban Tourism Initiatives," written by Sergei Khrushchev, Ph.D., senior fellow in international studies at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, Tony L. Henthorne, Ph.D., chair of tourism management and professor of marketing at the University of Southern Mississippi, and Michael S. LaTour, Ph.D., chair and professor of marketing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is accessible for a limited time at http://cqx.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/48/4/402.

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine. A privately owned corporation, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore. www.sagepublications.com

The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly (which is changing its name to Cornell Hospitality Quarterly beginning January 2008) is managed by SAGE and published under the aegis of the Center for Hospitality Research (www.chr.cornell.edu), a unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The Center for Hospitality Research is the leading source for quality research on and for the hospitality industry. It creates new knowledge - and shares that knowledge to power hospitality forward. At roundtables and other meetings, Hotel School faculty, corporate partners, and other industry leaders collaborate to frame timely issues and understand important topics.

SAGE

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