Destination Watch

Cuba: Old Havana – C

Recent stewardship news on this destination:

  • PBS News Hour, 16 June 2015:

GRADE: C Why this grade? Representative panelist comments from the National Geographic stewardship surveys:

“Old Havana must be one of the sites that have most benefited from World Heritage status. Despite enormous challenges, important restoration work has been undertaken in Old Havana. The cultural integrity is high, and condition of buildings in renovated areas is very good, while in areas still waiting for renovation, the situation is critical.”

“Great place for visitors to buy arts and crafts, but the area is becoming quite touristy. It certainly presents a rather sanitized view of Cuban life.”

“One of my favorite places to walk around. The streets are alive with people and music. I sensed that the worst days have passed for much of the architecture here.”

“Old Havana restorations continue amidst protests from locals who were initially displaced by these restorations. Due to protests, many were allowed to move back. Given restoration, which seem to have great integrity, condition of buildings is improving. Tourism development seems of appropriate character—small scale restored hotels, etc.”

“Future in doubt, depending on political decision-making without any public input.”

Your Rating

Is this grade fair and up to date? If yes, say so. If no, what do you recommend, and why? Add a comment, considering the destination’s condition in terms of environment, historic preservation, aesthetics, tourism management, cultural and social impacts, and overall trend.

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