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Cuba set to welcome record number of travellers this winter

With the winter period now underway, Cuba is preparing for its peak tourism period. The Caribbean island's tourism ministry has put steps in place including securing more direct flights to Cuba from key source markets, attracting more cruise liners and improvements to the hotels in Cuba.

Cuba set to welcome record number of travellers this winter

Cuba looks to be on track to surpass the number of foreign visitors arriving on the island in 2014 with its busiest season of the year, the winter months of November- April, now underway. While many of the world’s most attractive holiday destinations have been struggling with the fallout of the global economic crisis, Cuba has bucked the trend. According to recent statics, with 2071533 visitors, Cuba has achieved a near 4 per cent increase in the number of travellers going on holidays to Cuba in the January to August 2014 months when compared to same period last year.

The Caribbean island is now prepared to take full advantage of the peak season with Cuba’s Tourism Ministry carrying out a series of programs to ensure that Cuba’s tourism sector is able to realize its full potential. Some of the Tourism Ministry’s initiatives include the opening up of new air routes between Cuba and key source markets such as Canada, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Germany, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

In addition to securing new direct flights to Cuba, local tourism officials have also placed emphasis on attracting more cruise liners. Some of the cruise ships scheduled to visit Cuba this winter include, Cuba Cruise from Canada, Germany’s Star Clipper and Hamburg, Thomson Dream and Balmoral from the UK and the US’ Panorama and Semester at Sea.

With the expected peak in arrivals this winter, several Cuba hotels have invested in improving their facilities. Director of Cayo Largo Tourism Company, Moises Garcia, recently announced that hotels in the resort island off Cuba were being revamped and well as improvements to the surrounding infrastructure including access roads, the work undertaken in the area forms part of an investment plan aimed at achieving an 88 per cent occupancy rate.

Cuba welcomed over 2.8 million holidaymakers in 2013 with Canada its largest source market accounting for over one million arrivals that year. Other key markets for Cuba include the UK, France and Italy. In 2013 there was also a notable increase in the number of people from Argentina, Mexico, Spain Russia and Venezuela who chose to take Cuba holidays.

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