Michael Kowalchuk

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2014


Tourism, High-Rise, Hotel, Welfare, Kowalchuk, Cuba






The justification for guerrilla tourism in Havana draws from the political experiences of the urban guerrilla movement of the 1970s which transplanted rural guerrilla strategies to the city. The same basic rules continued to apply: a working knowledge of the terrain and local communities, an ability to strike and retreat quickly and a network form a military-political power. The anti-resort is a collection of micro-hotels in a city that rely on a public support programs and fit within communities instead of dominating them.

The current tourist infrastructure of Havana is socially unsustainable: foreign tourists have the choice of staying in high-rise hotels or invading Cubans' spare rooms. Both options degrade the architectural /cultural like of the city, operation on inappropriate scales. The high-rise hotels turn their backs to the city and serve as a bade for touristic exploitation.

The casas particulares are pragmatic surrender of the domestic sphere/private life to the tourist gaze. While both systems deliver some benefit to the Cuban nation and Cubans involved in the tourism sector, they do not deliver to the community, a basic building block of a Cuban socialism, Although 8.5 million out of a population of 11 million are politically organized on a neighborhood level, tourism remains an essentially top-down institution or a DIY project for Cubans with relatively nice homes.

The urban guerrilla anti-resort mediates for the problems of scale associated with each traditional model. Operating as a semi-formal network deployment, the anti-resort retains the efficiency of the high-rise hotel.

Consequently, the infrastructure required for the upkeep of the formal anti-resort will aid in urban development on a neighborhood scale. Deployed in the community as opposed to against the community, the anti-resort returns a sense of privacy to Cuban families while promoting economic development and keeping tourist revenues within the community. Guerrilla tourism attacks the explosions of global capital in the form of the high-rise hotel and liberates the living room from touristic exploitation.

Additional Information

Thesis Advisers: Lori Brown, jean Francois Bedard

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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