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Cuba sees 15 per cent increase in visitors in the first quarter of 2015

Cuba's Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero revealed that the number of tourists visiting the island in the first quarter of 2015 increased by 15 per cent compared to the same period last year. Speaking at the 7th International Gourmet Festival of Varadero last month, Marrero called on the country's tourism industry to strive for excellence over the coming months.

Cuba sees 15 per cent increase in visitors in the first quarter of 2015

The number of holidaymakers visiting the communist island of Cuba has risen by 15 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period last year.

The Tourism Minister of Cuba Manuel Marrero spoke at the opening of the 7th International Gourmet Festival of Varadero last month and while he did not disclose figures, he said the numbers “have been magnificent".

The minister called on Cuba’s tourism industry to strive for excellence, following the recent changes in the travel embargo between Cuba and the United States.

Last December, U.S President Obama announced that the two countries will resume diplomatic ties, bringing an end to an embargo that lasted more than five decades.

The day after the announcement, the leading travel website TripAdvisor reported an interest in Cuba travel increased by nearly 300 per cent in one day.

Tourism and sun and beach holidays have not yet been approved as a reason to visit Cuba, but American residents can visit the Caribbean island for educational, religious, academic and cultural and family purposes across 12 categories.

Last year, Cuba received over 3 million visitor arrivals, and this is expected to increase significantly when Washington lifts the restrictions and many Americans prepare to travel to the Caribbean island for the first time.

Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea that boasts a myriad of beautiful landscapes and sites for international visitors to enjoy, such as miles of pristine beaches, the second largest coral reef in the world, historic towns and cities, ancient ruins, thriving national parks, breathtaking natural scenery, and a tropical climate.

Popular tourist destinations include, Havana, the country’s bustling capital; Varadero, the beach resort town with 21 km of coastline and beaches; and Jardines del Rey, a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkelling thanks to crystal-clear turquoise waters that are thriving with spectacular marine species and coral reefs.

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