Cuba records more visitors than ever before
HAVANA, Cuba, Thursday May 6, 2010 – Cuba has broken its tourist arrival record and it’s coming after the title of top Caribbean destination.
Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero revealed that for the first four months this year, more than one million tourists visited the island’s shores – that’s twice the number recorded for the same period last year.
He said the 1,053,000 tourists who entered the country in the January to April 2010 period represents the “highest four-month period in the history of Cuban tourism”. And Marrero said Cuba could become the top tourist destination in the Caribbean in coming years.
The record tourist arrivals were accomplished despite a decline in the first two months of the year. Marrero credited his ministry’s marketing efforts for strong increases in March and April.
The largest source market in the four-month period was Canada, while there were increases in emigrants visiting from the United States and tourists coming from Latin American countries like Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru.
But it appears that Europeans are no bigger fans of Cuba as a tourism destination. According to Marrero, Spain is the only European country which has shown any growth.
Cuba has seen a steady increase in arrivals over the past few years, with a 3.5 percent rise in 2009 compared to the previous year.
With more people flying in, Marrero said several new hotel developments in major tourism areas are in the works.
“This, without any doubt, will allow the beginning of another phase in the development of Cuban tourism, with the entry of new segments and the execution of investments in zones with tourist potential that still have not been exploited,” the Tourism Minister said.