Cuban Tourism, a Well-Oiled Machine

Havana, May 25 (Prensa Latina) Recent data on the Cuban tourist industry confirms that the sector is like a well oiled machine that can drive the economy, including formulas for the protection of the environment.

Optimism is the most distinctive feature of the industry without smokestacks, based on the fact that for seven years, the country has received over two million visitors, every 12 months.

That trend allows local authorities to predict closing 2011 with the arrival of 2.7 million travellers, which would constitute a record.

Data of the National Statistics Office (ONE) confirm such predictions, showing a growth in arrivals of 11.9 percent in the first four months of 2011, compared to the same period of 2010.

From January to April, Cuba received 1,179,963 international travellers.

Just in April, they add, this destination attracted 275, 401 tourists, an increase of 13.4 percent in comparison with the same month of 2010, and 16.5 more than April 2009.

Such figures represent 18.4 percent more than in 2008 and 33.4 percent over the results in 2007.

They recalled that in 2010 Cuba received 2.5 million tourists, a 4.2 percent rise.

Every day there are more arriving in this country for vacations, especially from Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Argentina, Russia and Chile.

The International Group of Tour Operadores and Travel Agents, Havanatur, is the biggest supplier, with more than 600,000 clients in the first four months of this year, jsutifying its slogan of being “The Specialist of Cuba.”

Cuban Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero, recognized recently that Cuba occupies the third position as a tourist destination in the Caribbean and they hope to improve this position.

Marrero intervened in a working session of the 31st International Tourism Fair FITCuba 2011 (May 2-7) in which he talked about the most outstanding elements in the spiralling growth of this industry.

He said that the fundamental objective is to increase competitiveness and elevate quality, highlighting the culture, history and traditions of the country.

In 2010, 2,792 new rooms were constructed, mainly in the northern cays of Villa Clara and in the Varadero resort.

The nation counts on more than 50,000 rooms in about 300 hotels distributed in the whole archipelago, especially in eight regions.

Marrero reiterated that in less than 10 years, Cuba came to be the third tourist destination of the insular Caribbean. Since 1990, the island received 30 million travellers, despite Washington’s blockade against Cuba.

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