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Experts recommend Cuba holidays for travellers planning getaways in 2012

  • 20-Jan-12 15:52
  • Cuba
  • About My Area

With many predicting a surge in the number of Americans booking Cuba holidays, the island has been endorsed as a "must see" in 2012 by travel experts including Canada's Globe and Mail, U.S. based Fodor's and UK based travel expert Melanie Johnson.

Experts recommend Cuba holidays for travellers planning getaways in 2012

The Cuban tourism industry ended 2011 on a high note welcoming well over two million holidaymakers to their shores for the eighth consecutive year, a remarkable feat considering the country's size and tumultuous relationship with the United States which has served to limit the number of tourists from that country over the years. Even more remarkably, according to the Cuban government, the island has become the third most popular Caribbean holiday destination in less than ten years. Industry experts are paying special attention to the development of the island as a tourism destination, with many citing Cuba holidays as a must for holidaymakers planning a Caribbean getaway in 2012.

Reputed U.S. based travel firm Fodor’s, listed Cuba as an emerging hotspot in their “21 Places to Go in 2012” list while more relaxed travel restrictions from the Obama administration have driven heightened interest in travel to Cuba for many US citizens. Some insiders recommend that worldwide holidaymakers take the opportunity to visit the island now, before the predicted heavy influx of tourists from the U.S., expected to happen in the coming years once all American citizens are allowed free and unlimited travel to Cuba.

Havana Cathedral, Cuba
Image by: analista55, on Flickr

“For those looking for authentic culture and unspoiled lands head for the Caribbean Island of Cuba for what might be their last chance to experience the true culture and magic of the destination before more flights from America herald a tourist takeover” were the encouraging words from Melanie Kay Johnson, a UK-based travel expert affiliated with the award winning firm Travel Counsellors. Bruce Kirkby of Canada’s Globe and Mail echoed similar sentiments, “There is simply no country geographically closer to Canada that offers such contrast, matching the rich cultures and lush environments of Asia or South America, at a fraction of the travel expense and effort....Ask 10 Cubans today what the future holds and you'll get 10 different answers. You still have a chance to visit this nearby nation locked in the 1960s, but it won't last long”.

 Cayo Santa Maria, Holguin- Cuba
Image by: ciclope*, on Flickr

The Cuban government will aim to build on the recent successes of the tourism industry and the buzz it is generating internationally. Government-controlled radio station Radio Cadena Agramonte announced that the 2011 target of 2.7 million visitors was achieved “without a problem” and as such the 2012 target has been raised to 2.9 million visitors. In an effort to increase the number of people booking Cuba holidays this year, the Cuban government has announced a number of initiatives including improvements to a group of Cuba hotels and amenities located in the main tourist districts, along with general improvements to the quality and professionalism of the services provided by employees in the industry. Also planned is the construction of three new hotels in the resorts of Holguin, Cayo Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria. These will add to the 60,000 hotel rooms currently available in Cuba.

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