Chapter

Cathedrals of Chaos

Evan R. Ward

in Packaged Vacations

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032290
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038995 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032290.003.0005
Cathedrals of Chaos

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Hilton International's early history in Latin America was marked by numerous challenges, including adverse tropical weather, earthquakes, contract disputes, and the Cuban Revolution. Adverse weather, particularly during the hurricane season, negatively affected occupation rates at Hilton's seaside resorts. Weather also impacted publicity for the tourist industry in the United States. The failure of the Fidel Castro regime to promote tourism, as much as the radicalization of the revolutionary movement in late 1959, turned the initial optimism of Hilton International's executives for working within the framework of Cuba's new governmental structure to pessimism in the fall of 1959. Nevertheless, the impact of Hilton International in Latin America would be longer lasting than its initial establishment of hotels in the region during the late 1940s and 1950s. Ultimately, Conrad Hilton's legacy in Latin America transcends his avowed war on Communism.

Keywords: Hilton International; hotels; resorts; tourism; weather; earthquakes; contract disputes; Cuban Revolution; Fidel Castro; Conrad Hilton

Chapter.  4347 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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