Nearly half of Cuba's foreign holidaymakers come from Canada
The National Statistics Office has revealed that the majority of travellers who took Cuba holidays in the first quarter of 2012 came from Canada. The number of international visitors to the island was up 5.3 per cent compared to the first quarter in 2011.
Cuba has welcomed an increase in international visitors during the first quarter of 2012 according to figures released by the National Statistics Office (ONE). The majority of tourists who took Cuba holidays between January and March this year originated from Canada and the number of international visitors increased by 5.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.
More than 48 per cent (459,466) of Cuba's holidaymakers were Canadian and 37,191 French tourists took holidays to Cuba in the first few months of 2012, which marks a 7.5 per cent increase on last year.
Tourist arrivals from Argentina took third place with 37,130 visitors, and the United Kingdom came fourth with 35,837 travellers. There were 35,064 visitors from Italy, 33,417 from Germany; 27,830 from Russia, and Spanish visitors dropped by 36.5 per cent with just 17,685 arrivals.
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr
In 2011, the total number of tourists who went on holidays in Cuba was 2.7 million and tourism officials are hoping to receive 3 million foreign travellers in 2012.
Cuba is an island nation situated in the Caribbean Sea south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico. The communist island is rich in culture, heritage and history and boasts beautiful white and golden sand beaches, mid-range and luxury Cuba hotels, and the world's second largest barrier reef.
Cuba has become the third major tourist destination in the Caribbean over the past ten years despite having no tourists from the United States until recently because of the ongoing travel embargo.
Cuba travel has become easier for American residents over the past year following the President Obama's decision to relax restrictions on the United States-Cuba embargo. American travellers can now visit the island for religious, academic, educational, cultural and professional purposes.
Image by: Chodaboy, on Flickr
The country is building new restaurants, golf courses and Cuba hotels to prepare for the anticipated increase of holidaymakers this year and airlines are launching more flights to Cuba from U.S airports.
Popular holiday destinations in Cuba include the coastal area of Varadero Beach which is home to 20km of pristine beaches and luxury hotels and resorts; Villa Clara with its northern coastline that is dotted with an array of virgin cays with white sand beaches, coral reefs and thriving nature parks; and Havana, the country's capital city that oozes culture, traditional architecture, history, a vivacious music and dance scene, and Cuban charm.
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