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Published on : Thursday, July 20, 2017
More than 2.66 million foreign visitors were welcomed in the island which was 23.2% higher than the the same period in 2016. The increase in tourism revenue represents more than 9 percent compared to the same period in 2016, while per-day tourists increased by 11.8 percent, said Marrero in a report presented to the deputies of the Commission of Attention to Services of the National Assembly.
Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero also said that the government is expecting 4.7 million foreign visitors to arrive in the Caribbean this year, which means a growth of 16.5 percent compared to 2016, when Cuba achieved for the first time the record of 4 million of foreign visitors.
Canada is the leading source market for the island and the other traditional European markets such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany also contributed to show “positive” figures, according to the minister.
With respect to visitors from the United States, their number increased by 150 percent, even though Americans cannot come to the island as leisure tourists, but they are eligible for one of the twelve travel licenses approved by the administration of former President Barack Obama (2009-2017). The present US President announced travel ban which softened the travel to the island.
The tourism minister also said that by 2018 Cuba intends to receive 5 million foreign visitors, and confirmed the plan to expand the country’s accommodation capacity. Right now, Cuba has 67,769 hotel rooms, a figure that the minister hopes to raise to more than 100,000 by 2030 in order to meet the high demand in the main tourist centres such as Havana, the resort of Varadero, the eastern province of Holguin and the Cayería Norte and the city of Trinidad, in the central area.