HAVANA._ The fact that the number of foreign tourists arriving in Cuba reached three million 45 days earlier than predicted, is a confirmation of the increase registered by the country’s key tourism indicators so far in 2015, accompanied by a renewed product.
The figure –recorded for the second time ever in the history of the tourism of Cuba however this time in mid November- accounts for an 18 percent increase over the same period in 2014, with Canada as the number one issuing market of tourists to Cuba.
A total of 1,110,000 Canadians have come to Cuba (13 percent more than last year), and the number of European visitors has grown by 25 percent.
The new scenario in the country and the large international recognition of the work done by tourism-related institutions aimed at continuing to improve the proposals and the quality of services, were some of the factors that contributed to this result, the Tourism Ministry noted.
Praiseworthy was the unprecedented participation of 126 U.S. businesspeople at the International Tourism Fair, Fitcuba 2015.
Ever since the first talks were held for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations (December 17, 2014), the visits made to Cuba by U.S. executives and tourists have risen by 35 percent, Cuba’s Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said during the fair.
Yet, the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed for more than 50 years by successive U.S. administrations continues to be one of the main obstacles to the development of the Cuban leisure industry.
According to the latest report presented at the United States, from April 2014 to April 2015 only, the damage caused by the U.S. blockade to this sector was estimated at some $1.5 billion.
In this regard, cruise ship tourism is one of the most affected categories, after it represented 59.9 million days in total for Caribbean countries last year.
So far this year, nearly 20,000 tourists have come to Cuba by sea and, beginning in December this year, the cruise ship modality will be extended to the Guanahacabibes Peninsula (Biosphere Reserve) in Pinar del Río, Cuba’s westernmost province.
This province also presented an attractive program titled The Cigar Route, which allows visitors to learn about tobacco growing and cigar production, and also share with internationally renowned tobacco growers.
SEA AND AIR
Fitcuba-2015 put an emphasis on the nautical product currently promoted in the country, which includes seven marinas, 11 nautical centers and 39 international diving centers. Similarly, kitesurfing stands as an attractive activity, with the Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco keys in the Jardines del Rey archipelago (the venue for the Tourism Fair) featuring as privilege spots for practicing that sport.
A climbing park known as “Torre de cristal Rocarena” was also inaugurated this year in the same group of keys, becoming the first one of its type in the Caribbean, with 90 attractive activities for nature lovers.
Another new feature of great impact for Cuba’s tourism in 2015 will be the opening of direct Beijing-
Havana flights with a technical stopover in Montreal, Canada, beginning on December 27 and with an initial frequency of three flights a week.
Also this year, the Spanish airline Iberia resumed its operations, linking Cuba with more than 60 cities in the world.Share on FB Share on TT