Popularity of Cuba holidays rose in 2011
The arrival of 2.7 million visitors to Cuba in 2011 led to a 7.3 per cent growth for Cuba tourism. The growing interest in Cuba holidays is partly owed to the island's exotic beaches but even more so to a growing interest in the unique Cuban culture.
Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero, recently unveiled a 7.3 per cent growth in the Caribbean island’s tourism industry in 2011, after the arrival of over 2.7 million holidaymakers. The announcement was made at the 32nd annual International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) held in Madrid from the 18th to the 22nd January 2012.
Although Marrero noted a slight downward trend in the number of holidaymakers from Spain booking Cuba holidays in 2011, he underscored the important role that Spain played in Cuba’s tourism industry. Despite the slump in Spanish visitors in the last year, Spain continued to be one of the key contributing markets to Cuba’s tourism alongside countries like Britain, Canada, Mexico and Russia, responsible for sending thousands of travellers to cultural Cuba holidays. In addition to this, Spanish entrepreneurs remained key investors in Cuba’s tourism sector and this was also highlighted during Marrero's speech in Madrid.
The growth in the number of visitors that Cuba experienced in 2011 contributed to approximately $2.3 billion in revenues and has been made all the more impressive when analysed against the backdrop of a global economic crisis. “Though we are living through hard times due to the economy downfall that shakes the world, our position has always been to take small, but steady, steps at a time” Marrero noted. The Caribbean island shows no sign of a slowdown in 2012, quite to the contrary many industry experts agree that Cuba will surpass its recently announced 2012 target of 2.9 million visitors with ease.
Image by: stephenk1977, on Flickr
However, with the current tourism boom, many agree that there is need for improvements across the tourism sector such as the building of new Cuba hotels in order to keep up with growing demand, a fact which the government has acknowledged in recent months. Marrero noted at FITUR that the Cuban government has put steps in place to address the needs of the growing numbers of holidaymakers including investing heavily in the building and expansion of Cuba hotels and resorts throughout the island. Marrero also hinted that Cuba was not just about “sun and beach tourism” but that it would seek to develop a more, “diversified product that enables clients to enjoy our rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as the environmental and health tourism”, a tactic that may be geared, in part, towards newcoming holidaymakers from the United States.
Image by: Ulysse2001, on Flickr
U.S. citizens may still not be able to experience the typical sun, sea and sand holiday to Cuba, however, under the new rules set by the Obama administration; Americans can now engage in purposeful travel to Cuba with a “people-to-people” stipulation. A host of U.S. based organisations are now offering licenced tours to Cuba including Centre for Cuban Studies, Austin-Lehman as well as the National Geographic Expeditions which has 17 fully booked Cuba tours planned between January 2012 and May 2012. The new rules coming out of the US have opened up the eyes of many around the world to the value of experiencing the cultural side of Cuba holidays, an opportunity that many may not have taken advantage of otherwise.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
With great watersports galore, your winter-sun holiday can be one to remember in Cuba
- Try your hand at some adrenaline-pumping water sports including sailing, windsurfing and diving
- If you’re not up for a night on the tiles you can simply chill out at the resort and enjoy the evening’s entertainment
- If you’re a night-owl you won’t be able to resist Varadero’s buzzing nightlife
A superb combination of great accommodation and exciting activities make this resort one of Cuba's hottest properties
- Previous winner of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and ranked in the top 5 Hotels in Varadero
- Full range of Spa treatments for a more relaxing break, or a selection of water and land sports to choose from for the more active traveller
- Enjoy a range of tours and excursions
- Couples can benefit from a free bottle of sparkling wine and a romantic dinner for two, plus a 30 min massage per couple
Indulge in a couples special retreat that includes a Deluxe Havana City Break and Luxury Adults-Only All Inclusive Beach Escape in Varadero
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 08th Feb
- The perfect 5* multi centre - mixing exciting city life with a pampering beach retreat in romantic Cuba
- The luxury adults-only all-suite hotel Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort and Spa is situated on the pristine Varadero beach
- Melia Habana is the perfect base for exploring all that Havana has to offer
A couples' special - enjoy the perfect mix of history, local culture and laidback beach retreat for the perfect romantic Cuban experience.
- Enjoy all kind of the Spa treatments, water and land sports at Blau Varadero
- Fantastic views to the ocean from the modern and elegant rooms with balcony or terrace
- The perfect location of Blau Varadero beside the pristine sandy beach
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Start your holiday at The Melia Habana Hotel, located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea....
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
This carefully selected combination of hotels combines a stay in Havana with a stay upon the coast of Varadero. Start...