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Visitor arrivals in Cuba rise by five per cent

The island nation of Cuba has recorded a five per cent increase in tourist arrivals in the first four months of 2014, compared to the same period last year, according to the National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI). In 2013 the country received 2,852,572 tourists and tourism officials are aiming to reach their three million target by the end of the year.

Visitor arrivals in Cuba rise by five per cent

The Caribbean island of Cuba has received a rising number of tourists during the first four months of 2014, according to the National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI).

Cuba received a rise in visitor arrivals between January and April this year, a five per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013.

The country recorded 1.28 million tourists in the first four months of 2014, and in April alone 287,103 foreign travellers visited the island, which is a four per cent year-on-year increase.

The majority of tourists originated from Canada, (623,337 arrivals), followed by Germans, British, French and Italians. Last year, 2,852,572 tourists visited Cuba and this year, tourism officials are hoping to reach their goal of three million visitors.

Located in the Caribbean Sea, south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico, the beautiful island is home to breathtaking natural landscapes such as miles of white sand beaches, the second largest coral reef in the world, 14 thriving national parks, six world biosphere reserves, 236 protected areas, historic towns and cities, and ancient ruins and sites.

The capital, Havana, is a hotspot for tourists with its cobbled streets, old decaying buildings, the bustling Malecon promenade, historic Old Town, and vibrant bars and restaurants.

There are many cultural events to enjoy all year round including the Havana International Ballet Festival, the Havana International Film Festival, and the Havana Jazz Festival which features performances from Cuba's finest musicians and international artists.

Visitors can relax on 20km of white sandy beaches in Varadero, play golf on Cuba's only full golf course, explore the impressive caves and the Hicacos Point Natural Park, or snorkel or scuba dive in the Jardines del Rey archipelago which boasts crystal clear azure ocean waters and a spectacular barrier reef system with diverse marine species such as nurse sharks, stingrays, green morays, sea turtles, jewfish, Atlantic spadefish and barracuda.

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