Fira de Barcelona launches in Cuba with the first edition of HostelCuba

Fira de Barcelona is embarking on its expansion plans in Cuba with the organisation of HostelCuba, the International Restaurant, Hotel and Equipment Exhibition, which will be held in Havana on 17-19 May. This is the first of four brand new sector trade fairs that the institution is planning to organise in Cuba in 2016 and 2017 in conjunction with its local partner Pabexpo, part of the Palco Business Group. Fira de Barcelona will thus become the first foreign trade fair operator in Cuba, further strengthening its international strategy. 
This first edition of brings together 52 exhibitors from 11 other countries, primarily Spain (with 34 companies) as well as Italy, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama, as well as some 60 government bodies and institutions, which are the main buyers and importers on the island given the particular trade conditions of the Cuban market. 
Indeed, the show takes place in the context of the incipient opening-up of Cuba to foreign investors and companies to supply different sectors – in this particular case, equipment and services for the hospitality and tourism sector – making the country a source of excellent business opportunities, especially for exhibitors at the show who will have the chance to establish themselves as new suppliers.
HostelCuba specialises in equipment and machinery for the hospitality, laundry and cleaning sectors; furniture and decoration; cookware and tableware; textiles and uniforms; and fitness and wellness services. It will also have a meetings programme to encourage contacts and new business deals between the leading local trade professionals and government buyers and foreign companies interested in accessing the Cuban market. At this first event more than 200 meetings have been scheduled with 118 buyers. These meetings will take place in the Market Place area, which is also the venue for presenting new products and projects.
The show, which will be held in the Pabexpo exhibition complex in Havana, expects to welcome importers and exporters who supply the hospitality industry, central purchasing groups, hotels, restaurants, mass caterers, architects and designers.
New trade fairs
HostelCuba is the first of the four trade fairs that Fira de Barcelona is planning to organise in Havana with its government partner Pabexpo as a result of the agreement signed with the Palco Business Group, the leading trade fair and congress organiser in Cuba, which manages the Expocuba and Pabexpo venues and the Havana International Conference Center.
This new portfolio of sector trade fairs includes Feria Alimentos Cuba, the International Food and Beverages Exhibition on 5-7 July 2016; Securtec Cuba, the International Security and Emergency Services Exhibition (2017); and PacGraf, the International Printing, Packaging and Graphic Arts Exhibition (2017).
According to Ricard Zapatero, the International Business Manager at Fira de Barcelona, ‘this expansion into Cuba further strengthens the international strategy we have been implementing in the last few years to boost our presence abroad and, above all, to generate new business opportunities for the companies that take part in our events and support their internationalisation.’. In this respect, the institution is also involved in organising trade fairs in other countries around the world, including Qatar, Japan, Mexico, Portugal and Morocco, as well as providing consultancy services on event management to other countries.
Barcelona, 12 May 2016