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Cuba expects to meet 3 million foreign tourist target this year

The Tourism Minister of Cuba, Manuel Marrero, has announced that the country is expecting to receive three million foreign visitors by the end of 2014. Marrero stressed the commitment of workers in the tourism sector and he met with youths who are studying a new university course in Tourism in Camaguey who will play a vital role in the island's tourism sector.

Cuba expects to meet 3 million foreign tourist target this year

Tourism officials in Cuba are expecting to receive three million visitors by the end of the year, according to the country's Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero.

Marrero stressed the commitment of the workers in the tourism industry in Cuba who were helping to meet this target. The minister met with a group of youths who are taking the new Tourism course at university in the eastern province of Camaguey, and he said that despite the decline in arrivals from specific markets, the nation was still on track to meet receive three million visitors.

Marrero said that the current international world crisis has caused a fall in the number of European and Argentinean tourists to Cuba. He added that the U.S embargo also prohibits American travellers to visit the country, which represents 50 per cent of the tourism market in the Caribbean.

He said that improvements to the island's tourist sector are being addressed, particularly with new hotels and enhancements to the non-state tourist sector such as gastronomy, transportation and craftwork.

While Cuba is famous for its sun and beach tourism, the tourism official added that it is important to combine this with the island's cultural offerings and historic heritage with city tours and visits to lesser-known areas on the island.

The Caribbean island is located south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico and boasts stunning natural landscapes including miles of white sand pristine beaches, the second largest coral reef in the world, 14 thriving national parks, six world biosphere reserves, 236 protected areas, an array of historic towns and cities, and ancient ruins and sites.

The island is home to luxury beachfront resorts, world class golf courses, historic cities, virgin cays, and breathtaking natural scenery, as well as vibrant music and cultural events.

Canada continues to be the main tourist market in Cuba, with 181 269 visitors in the first six months of 2014. This is followed by the UK, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Venezuela, Russia, Argentina and Colombia.

American tourists are now also permitted to travel to Cuba under licensed people-to-people cultural programmes after President Obama relaxed laws in 2011.

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