24 february 2016
In the first month of this year, tourism in Cuba grew by 12.7%, over January 2015, with almost 418,000 visitors, according to the analyst José Luis Perelló.
Among the tourists, 174,000 were Canadians, followed by Italians with 23,000 visitors, Germans (21,500), Americans (21,000), and the French (19,000).
The growth in tourism in Cuba started with the improved relations with the United States which caused a 17.4% increase in 2015 when 3.52 million visitors came to explore the island, according to Perelló. This is a record number in the history of Cuban tourism.
The data also show that cruise tourism in Cuba recovered in 2015 going up by 135% with an increase of 53.9% in the number of yachts and pleasure boats. Havana, Villa Clara, Varadero, Ciego de Ávila and Holguín were the destinations with the highest arrival rate.
Currently, Cuba is facing a considerable lack of hotel rooms for the increasing numbers of visitors. The government thus decided to invest in new hotels and the construction of a number of projects has started.
The Caribbean as a whole recorded a 7.4% increase with 24 million tourists in 2015, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer released in January. The Caribbean destination receiving the most tourists was the Dominican Republic with 141,000 visitors, up 8.9% over 2014.