Published on : Monday, January 2, 2017
Havana’s Ministry of Tourism said in a statement published in the Granma official that the island set a record for international visitors this year, exceeding projections by some six percent.
Tourism forms a significant option of revenue generation, adding to the value of this cash-strapped island and is closely followed by the export of doctors and other medical services.
Canada remains the leading emitter of tourists to the island and other major countries besides the USA are Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Spain. Cuba received revenues of 1.2 billion dollars in the first six months of 2016 which in itself was a promising growth than the same period of the last year.
At present, Cuba has 65,000 hotel rooms and more than 17,000 rooms in private homes that rent. To cope with the growth of tourist arrivals, the Cuban Government plans to build 108,000 new rooms by 2030.
US firms like Airbnb and Netflix have started their business in Cuba and were closely followed by Starwood and Sheraton opening their branches. Nearly 137,000 Americans came to Cuba in the first half of 2016, an 80 percent surge from the same period in 2015 as the agencies reported.