Published on : Monday, November 28, 2016
Those planning for travelling to Cuba should be warned that all public events have been cancelled.
But Castro’s death is unlikely to impact tourism any time soon.
Fidel Castro’s brother Raul has been president since 2006 and it is he who advanced the terms of the re-approachment with the United States and the easing of travel restrictions.
But the passing of “El Comandante” coincides with a recent boom in visitor numbers from across the Straits of Florida. Data released last week by Cuba’s National Statistics Office indicates tourist numbers rose 15 per cent in the first six months of 2016, compared with the same period last year.
While Canadians are the largest group of foreigners, Americans are now in third position, after Cuban living overseas. This is a significant change from previous years when Germans, Britons, Italians and the French were placed higher than visitors from the US.
Jonathan Goldsmith, Latin America specialist said that Cuba has never been a more popular a destination and that looks set to continue following the passing of Castro as the country changes at an ever increased pace.
According to media reports, the sudden surge in visitor numbers has led to more bookings at “casas particulars”. Airbnb has reported increased activity in Cuba. While hotel occupancy remains “stable”, it’s still being advised to book trips early.
The death of Castro is looking like an increase in tourism for Cuba. The city of Havana is prepared however — they just plan to open a Delta Air Lines ticket office on December 1st.