Cuba to increase tourist arrivals by 2012
HAVANA, Cuba, Thursday, November 10, 2011 – Up to September this year the number of tourist arrivals to Cuba had increased by 7.9 per cent over the same period last year, and 2012 arrivals look to show even further growth.
This was revealed by the Cuban minister of tourism, Manuel Marrero, who affirmed that tourist arrivals in Cuba are expected to increase by 2012 with the entrance of about 2.9 million foreign visitors.
Marrero also revealed that Canada was the foremost provider of tourists to Cuba from north America and that relations among Cuban and Canadian tour-operators were very strong.
The tourism minister’s buoyant forecast follows the resumption of flights to Cuba at the end of last month by the Dutch airline KLM after a 68-year absence.
KLM, which connects over 130 cities in the world, is expected to significantly contribute to an increase in the number of visitors arriving in the island, particularly from Scandinavia, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Holland, three times a week.
Harm Kreulen, the entity’s main vice-president, who travelled together with an important group of Dutch tour operators and entrepreneurs to know Cuba, described the flight as a good start, without mishaps and with 99 percent of its capacity covered.
He described Cuba as a potential tourist destination for the European market, due to its good climate and its culture, people and history.
These trips will be carried out with MD11 airplanes, with a capacity for 285 passengers -261 economy class and 24 for executives.