March 21, 2007

FORGET GLOBALIZATION, HOW ABOUT DISNEYFICATION?:

Tourism is restoring the buildings of Old Havana (MIKE WILLIAMS, 3/21/07, Miami Herald)

It's one of the hemisphere's architectural treasures, but in a country of scarce resources, saving the crumbling buildings of Old Havana might easily have been overlooked.

Instead, Cuba has slowly but steadily restored some of the oldest -- and most gorgeous -- buildings in the Americas. The innovative plan has also funded social programs and housing reconstruction, making it a model for historic districts around the world, experts say.

''It's a self-financing, self-sustaining model,'' said Herman Van Hooff, a United Nations cultural official based in Havana. ``It's an integrated vision of restoration and providing services to the population. It has matured into a model with valuable concepts for other places.''

The unique part of Cuba's plan has been its strategy of restoring old hotels, restaurants and buildings to attract tourists and then using tourism revenue to fund more restoration, along with social programs and housing renovation, one of Cuba's most pressing problems.


Post-Castro Cuba is in for one heck of a lot of US tourist business.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 21, 2007 7:12 AM
Comments

Yes. Anyone interested in visiting "Old Havana" is best advised to do so now, before the cruise ships, in their multitudes, are disgorging hordes onto streets lined with t-shirt shops, trinket shops, jewelry shops, fast food stands....

Posted by: curt at March 21, 2007 8:49 AM

Likewise ocean front property all around the island. Wanna bet the caring critters have theirs already?

Posted by: erp at March 21, 2007 9:21 AM

Costner and a casino, I'll wager.

I'll be going to gamble.

Of course, why did the buildings deteriorate in the first place?????

Posted by: Sandy P at March 21, 2007 10:18 AM

U.S. embargo.

Posted by: erp at March 21, 2007 11:43 AM

Not in that worker paradise, I can't believe that.

Posted by: Sandy P at March 21, 2007 4:18 PM

I heard in the media, so it's gotta be true.

Posted by: erp at March 21, 2007 5:51 PM
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