Saturday, September 30, 2023

Cuba almost tripled international travelers in January, up to 246,000

Cuba received 246,000 international travelers in January of this year, almost triple the number that arrived on the island in the same period of 2022, according to official media reports on Tuesday.

The figure represents “a very significant increase compared to the 86,424 who entered in January of last year,” said the official newspaper Granma.

The rebound is mainly due to the “approach of several international travel agencies to the island, which are interested in Cuba as a destination,” said this outlet.

Last December, 236,862 people visited the Caribbean country, an increase of 452.8% compared to the same month in 2021 -when the country was still affected by the restrictions of the pandemic-, according to the National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei), which It has not yet published the official figures for January.

A total of 1,614,087 international travelers arrived in Cuba in 2022. The Government had set the goal of 1.7 million tourists in the middle of the year, after lowering its initial forecast of 2.5 million.

Canada, Cubans residing abroad, the United States, Spain, Germany and Russia led, in that order, the main groups of international travelers to Cuba, according to Onei.

Cuba came to receive between 4 and 5 million international travelers in 2018 and 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic.

Tourism is the second largest item of gross domestic product (GDP) and the second largest source of foreign currency in Cuba, behind the export of services, mainly health.

The goal set by the Government for this year is to receive 3.5 million tourists, double the number that arrived in the country in 2022.

The Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, recently assured EFE that this goal is possible, despite the current “difficulties” that the country is suffering.


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