HAVANA._The Cuban tourism industry is doing very well so far this year in terms of international market and environmental protection, with statistics and examples that corroborate such assertion.
The recently closed 35th International Tourism Fair, FITCuba 2015, proved to be an example for this rising trend.
With the new foreign investment law, Cuban tourism has received a major boost in a moment that could not have been better, after the year 2014 closed with more than three million foreign arrivals, and with the winter season (November-April) recording an upward trend.
Local authorities said that last year the country registered a record figure in the number of foreign visitors, which accounted for a 5.3 percent increase compared to 2013.
However, as many as 3,200,000 tourists are expected to come to the island this year, according to estimates by the Cuban Tourism Ministry.
The first quarter of 2015 far exceeded the estimated plan with 106.9 percent of arrivals, representing 14.9 percent more than in the same period in 2014. Out of the total visitors of the 2015 quarter, 1, 116,113 were tourists, 20,835 were excursionists, and 8,272 came aboard cruise ships.
The main issuing markets of tourists to the island are Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy, with others such as Venezuela, Mexico, and Chile beginning to feature as well.
With over 400,000 visitors, March reached the record of the highest number of arrivals in one month.
STATISTICS CORROBORATE THE UPWARD TREND
According to the National Statistics and Information Office report, travelers can be classified into different categories: tourists, who stay in a foreign place for at least one night but less than one year, and excursionists, who visit for less than 24 hours.
First on the list of foreign visitors in the first quarter of 2015 were citizens from Canada with 551,773 arrivals representing 48.5 percent of the total, followed by Germany with 52,904 (4.7 percent), France (44,319 and 3.9 percent), the United Kingdom (43,222 and 3.8 percent) and Italy (39,177 and 3.4 percent).Share on FB Share on TT