CIEGO DE AVILA._ The Jardines del Rey archipelago, ranked as one of Cuba’s premier sun-beach destinations, has registered a record number of more than 9,000 visitors from different countries in merely one day.

Luís Báez, Tourism Ministry (MINTUR) Sales Director in the province of Ciego de Ávila, told The Havana Reporter that this is the first time the tourist resort had recorded such a high number of visitors since it was opened more than 20 years ago.

The Jardines del Rey archipelago, ranked as one of Cuba’s premier sun-beach destinations, has registered a record number of more than 9,000 visitors from different countries in merely one day.The total number of tourists recorded by the entire province, in one day only, has exceeded 10,000 nationals and foreigners; again, the highest number ever, he added.

The ongoing winter season shows a 20 percent growth in the number of visitors, with an average of 45 weekly flights arriving at the Cayo Coco International Airport.

Canada remains the main source of tourists to Cuba, accounting for more than 90 percent of flights arriving at the destination, followed by national tourism, which has maintained a steady presence all year long, Báez said.

Direct flights also come from the United Kingdom, Argentina and Italy, and a new charter flight from Portugal landed for the first time last summer.

Located just off the north-central Cuban coast and some 430 kilometers east of Havana, the resort will host the 35th International Tourism Fair, FIT-Cuba 2015, from May 5 to 7.

The Jardines del Rey archipelago, ranked as one of Cuba’s premier sun-beach destinations, has registered a record number of more than 9,000 visitors from different countries in merely one day.Road repairs and improvements to hotel infrastructure are under way in preparation for the event, Iyolexis Correa, a provincial MINTUR representative, said.

As FIT-Cuba 2015 will be dedicated to nautical activities, Marlin Marina in Cayo Guillermo is undergoing general upgrades with the construction of a cable car line and other nautical facilities.

The latest hotel to open in the resort was the Meliá Jardines del Rey which, with 1,176 rooms, is the largest hotel operated by the Spanish Meliá Hotels International in the world. It will be the principal venue for FIT-Cuba 2015.

Jardines del Rey has more than 6,000 rooms in 16 hotels in Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.

Last year it was visited by almost 400,000 foreign tourists, representing a growth rate of five percent and proving its rightful place among Cuba’s main tourist destinations.

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