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As more tourists took Cuba holidays this past winter the island experienced best high season ever

  • 13-May-12 11:41
  • Cuba
  • Caribbean 360

During the recently culminated FITCUBA tourism fair held between 8-11 May, Manuel Marrero, Cuba's Minister of Tourism revealed a record-breaking growth in the number of tourists arriving to Cuba during the 2011-2012 high winter season with a marked increase in tourists from new source markets such as Argentina and Russia. During his speech he also revealed investment plans to open new Cuba hotels and improve the Cuba holidays experience with new tourism attractions and refurbishments.

As more tourists took Cuba holidays this past winter the island experienced best high season ever

It has been revealed by official government sources that as many as 1.73 million visitors arrived to Cuba between December 2011 and April 2012, marking an unprecedented record for the nation’s high tourist season.

Of the 1.73 million tourists who enjoyed Cuba holidays this past winter season, 1.24 were foreign tourists, representing a growth of 5.3 per cent compared to the 2011 figures for the same period.

The statics were recently unveiled by Manuel Marrero, Cuba’s Tourism Minister, during a speech at the 32nd International Tourism Fair, FITCUBA 2012.

Mr Marrero added that this growth showed the growing preference for Cuba holidays among holidaymakers as the island gained popularity as a top destination in the Caribbean region. He also attributed the island’s recent tourism success to its natural attractions, unique history and intrinsic beauty.

Old Havana- Cuba
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

During his speech he also reported that traditional tourism source markets like Canada and France, growing at a rate of 3 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively, showed steady growth, while new markets like Argentina, the country that this year’s FITCUBA fair was dedicated to, doubled its figures of visitors. Other new markets showing marked increases in visitor numbers included Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Holland, Colombia and Mexico.

The only countries reported to have seen a decrease in the number of tourists going on holidays to Cuba were the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. Marrero linked the decreasing trends in these major tourism markets to the impact the global economic crisis had on these countries.

Marrero was also proud to point out that Cuba continues to work hard to increase the quality of the holiday experience they offer to discerning travellers while also trying to diversify the island’s tourism industry.

To this end he said that five new Cuba hotels had been opened in 2011, providing an additional 1537 rooms while over 6639 guest rooms at various hotels in Cuba underwent major refurbishment works to raise the standards of quality and comfort offered.

At present Cuba accommodates travellers at a total of 58,626 rooms, of which, 63 per cent are in four and five-star hotels (with 71 per cent of these located in beach resorts), 23 per cent cater to city tourism (mainly in cities like Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos) and 2 per cent to nature tourism and eco-friendly holidays.

Cuba Beaches
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

On this note Marrero also added that the Tourism Ministry in the island also bought 315 new buses and 3652 new cars for tourists to rent, making it easier for holidaymakers to get around during their holidays in Cuba.

Marrero finished by saying that Cuba is now in the process of carrying out a massive investment plan that will see not only the addition of new hotel rooms, mostly in four and five-star hotels, but also the remodelling of some hotels in Cuba that need to increase the standard of quality they offer to visitors.

In the pipeline further new tourist attractions are planned, with several investment projects such as the construction of new golf courses, marinas, airports and an improved road network and transport facilities for tourists.

This marks the start of an ambitious new project that will see the addition of another 45,837 hotel rooms all along Cuba’s northern coast by 2030.

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