Cuba Suffers 2% Drop in Number of Foreign Tourists
HAVANA – International tourism in Cuba dropped by 2 percent in the first
six months of this year with a total of 1.5 million visitors, according
to figures released Friday by the National Statistics Office, or ONE.
Other indicators show that total revenues also declined in comparison
with the first half of 2012, though by a minimum difference of some
Canada remained the principal source of foreign visitors to the
Caribbean country, with 706,766, followed by Britain, Germany and Argentina.
In 2012, Cuba welcomed 2.8 million foreign tourists, 4.5 percent more
than in 2011.
This year, the island intends to bring in more than 3 million
international visitors, despite negative factors like the international
economic crisis and the move by some airlines to reduce flights to Cuba.
Authorities are also working to diversify what the island has to offer
tourists and to expand hotel capacity in the country, with a projected
85,000 rooms in 2020 compared with the 65,000 at present.
As part of that plan, state-run Gaviota inaugurated Thursday at the
seaside resort of Varadero a new hotel complex administered by the
Spanish Melia chain and located beside a marina with berths for 1,300
yachts and recreational vessels.
The five-star Melia Marina Varadero is the 26th hotel that the Spanish
group is managing in Cuba, where in 2016 it plans to open another in the
city of Trinidad. EFE
Source: “Latin American Herald Tribune – Cuba Suffers 2% Drop in Number
of Foreign Tourists” –