Cuba closed the year 2015 with a 17.3 percent growth in the tourism sector, informed José Luis Perelló, professor from the University of Havana’s Faculty of Tourism.

Cuba closed the year 2015 with a 17.3 percent growth in the tourism sector, informed José Luis Perelló, professor from the University of Havana’s Faculty of Tourism.During 2015 the Cuban tourism sector was faced with continual challenges, coping with the 3,521, 000 foreign tourists who had the privilege of coming to Cuba, this time free from the tensions that had isolated the island for just over 50 years, the professor noted.

Of that total figure, the number of U.S. visitors accounted for was 161,174, Perelló told the press.

Though deteriorated in some areas, Havana featured as a city that continues to be substantially united, vital and active.

It’s a happy, busy city that everyday compels the people to support ongoing preservation efforts, despite existing shortages and difficulties, he commented.

Together with the capital, other Cuban cities declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO also captivated foreign tourists, as is the case for Trinidad, Camagüey, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa and Remedios.

These more than 500 year-old cities welcomed thousands of tourists who packed hotels and private homes known as casas particulares, which offer comfort and a friendly personalized service.

Cuba closed the year 2015 with a 17.3 percent growth in the tourism sector, informed José Luis Perelló, professor from the University of Havana’s Faculty of Tourism.In spite of difficulties, the results attained by the Cuban tourism sector last year are praiseworthy, stressed Perelló.

The easing of tensions between the United States and Cuba contributed to a major boost for visitors from all over the world to visit the island, mostly from Canada, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina.

Cuba plans to continue updating its socioeconomic model, while showing its strategic creativeness and tactical flexibility by turning situations of crisis into opportunities, said the professor, who referred to the process of the normalization of relations with the United States.

The lifting of the U.S. restrictive measures imposed on Cuba for more than 50 years will allow the internationally renowned social achievements attained so far to be maintained, making the best use possible of its highly qualified human capital, with tools that would allow the Cuban economy to be more competitive, the professor sustained.

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