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New record is set for tourism income in Cuba

  • 28-Jun-12 17:17
  • Cuba
  • Caribbean News Now

A brand new record has been set in tourism income for Cuba. According to the Cuban National Statistics Office, nearly 1.5 million people have visited the country in the first five months of 2012, a figure that indicates a popularity growth in Cuba holidays.

New record is set for tourism income in Cuba

The Caribbean island of Cuba has been visited by nearly 1.5 million people in the first five months of the present year, a smashing new record in tourism income for the country, according to the Cuban National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI). This incredible achievement proves that more and more tourists are becoming interested in Cuba holidays all over the world.

The impressive figure of 1.5 million visitors represents a 5.5 per cent growth compared to the same period of 2011, and confirms a steady increase since February. Even the number of travellers has increased in the month of May, which is considered low season by the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR). The arrivals have grown up to 7.1 per cent more this year, compared to the last.

 Havana Cathedral - Cuba
Image by: Hear and Their, on Flickr, on Flickr

The main benefit of this significant growth is the increase of economic income for the island. Just last year the arrival of 2, 716, 317 people in Cuba transformed itself into $1.7 billion. This figure is made up of transportation, lodging, food services and retail, but does not include the revenues of the self-employed sector, which is rapidly blossoming thanks to the new measures implemented by the Cuban government. Foreign tourists haven’t been the only ones contributing to the considerable increase in this sector.

Domestic tourism also grew, and over 1.3 million locals enjoyed the high-quality services and stayed in MINTUR Cuba hotels.
According to Lourdes Cisneros, the Dean of the Tourism Faculty at the Havana University, if the quality of the services offered in the country’s tourism sector continues to improve, this division could become the most important economic sector for Cuba in the future.

At the 2nd International Tourists Studies Conference, which was recently celebrated in Havana’s Convention Palace, Cisneros addressed over 200 foreign experts in the area of tourism research. In the event, she talked about the rapidly-growing flow of travellers from Latin American countries, which were not considered a significant source of tourists for the country a few years before.

 Varadero Beaches- Cuba
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr, on Flickr

She pointed out that this increase was due to the growing bonds between the island and the other countries of the region, and that it could become one of the main income sources for Cuba.

The specialist also referred to the USA as a potential source of visitors for the country in the future, seeing that recently Americans are becoming more and more interested in taking holidays to Cuba. She stated that in the case that restrictions on the island were lifted, Cuba would more than ready to receive Americans, given that the country has the necessary infrastructure to do so.

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