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More tourists taking Cuba holidays in 2011 as country achieves new record in tourist arrivals

  • 22-Dec-11 11:11
  • Cuba

Last Tuesday, international tourist arrivals to Cuba surpassed the total of 2,351,745 visitors, a figure reached in 2010. A smashing new record was achieved, with Canada as the main source of tourists enjoying Cuba holidays, followed by the UK in Europe.

More tourists taking Cuba holidays in 2011 as country achieves new record in tourist arrivals

The Caribbean island nation of Cuba has always been a popular tourism destination due to its beautiful natural attributes, white-sand beaches and compelling history. Last Tuesday, the number of international tourists arriving in the island broke a new record, surpassing a total of 2,351,745 visitors in 2011, according to the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (Mintur). Canada maintains its position as Cuba’s main tourism market source of visitors to the island, and the United Kingdom occupies second place in the number of British travellers going on Cuba holidays, being Cuba's most important source of tourists in Europe.

According to a press communique from the Cuban Ministry of Tourism, last 13th December, Cuba went beyond the 2,531,745 visitor mark reached in 2010. When speaking of this wonderful achievement, Mintur (Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism) pointed out that “the new record was reached 18 days before the year 2011 concluded, which means that from now on, each passenger will be part of a new record.”

 Capitolio Nacional, Havana, Cuba
Image by: stephenk1977, on Flickr

The Mintur also indicated that tourism is an essential industry for the Cuban economy, which is strongly supported by a group of foreign travel markets, with Canada as the most significant source of visitors going on holidays to Cuba. The United Kingdom is the second most important source, and the main source in Europe but the number of travellers from other European countries is also growing, as well as the amount of holidaymakers coming from Latin America, among which Argentina and Russia are the most rapidly-growing markets with the highest reported growth in the number of tourists from these nations taking Cuba holidays.

“The newly-established record marks a new standard in the development of the Cuban tourism industry; keeping in mind that we are a young destination with a small geographic area (...) Receiving more than two million tourists per year is evidence of Cuba’s significant position in the scenario of world tourism, given the present difficult international situation,” part of the press announcement reads.

 Cuba - Holguin
Image by: Ulysse2001, on Flickr

By making sure that quality and hospitality services in Cuba hotels maintain its high level, the tourism industry hopes to increase the figures obtained this year. Cuba aspires to boost the number of foreign visitor arrivals and get close to three million tourists in 2012 (2,0 million), after closing 2011 with nearly 2,7 million visitors, 200,000 more than in 2010, according to Mintur sources.

Varadero, located in the Hicacos Peninsula, Matanzas, is Cuba’s most important tourism destination. Last Thursday, the stunning 20-kilometre long beach resort of Varadero received a total of 1 million tourist arrivals since the start of 2011. These record figures were obtained with the help of the new arrival of the inaugural flight from British airline Thomas Cook . Located 130 km to the east of Cuba’s capital city of Havana, Varadero reaches a total of 1 million visitors for the fourth consecutive year, this time a week before the record was reached in 2010. Each year the popularity of Varadero holidays grows along with the attractiveness of other Cuban holiday destinations, including Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Largo and Holguin.

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