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Published on : Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Cuba is optimistic of welcoming record number of tourists this year, particularly from the United States, with their trips made easier by regular flights and ferry service. Cuba surpassed 3.5 million tourist arrivals in 2015.
In 2015, the number of foreign tourists increased by 17.8 percent, with most of them coming from Canada, Britain and France, and as the cruise season that runs from December to April starts, at least 14 big ships will make a total of 90 port visits.
According to estimates by University of Havana School of Tourism professor Jose Luis Perello Cruise ships are expected to bring in about 600,000 visitors, including the 1,750 tourists who arrived in the capital recently aboard MSC Opera, the largest cruise ship to ever drop anchor in Cuban waters.
Further, due to the relaxation of travel restrictions by President Barack Obama, The number of tourists from the United States increased by almost 75 percent in 2015 over 2014.
As part of the normalization of bilateral relations, the U.S. Congress could lift the ban on travel by U.S. citizens and tourists to Cuba this year, a move that some analysts say could unleash a throng of 3 million U.S. visitors in the first year alone.