Monday, January 30, 2023

Cuba received just over 1.6 million tourists in 2022

Cuba received 1.6 million tourists between January and November 2022, a lower figure than the government forecast of 1.7 million -which was originally 2.5 million and then dropped by almost a third-, according to data published this Thursday by the National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei).

The number of international travelers who arrived in Cuba in the past year represents 452.8%, that is, more than 1.2 million visitors than in the same period of 2021.

However, it is still below pre-COVID-19 levels. In 2019, the country received just over 4.2 million visitors.

Canada, with 532,487 tourists, leads the main emitters, followed by Cubans residing abroad (333,191), the United States (100,494), Spain (83,025), Germany (58,715) and Russia (54,383), according to Onei.

The Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, explained in an interview with EFE in Madrid that 2022 “was the year of reopening without restrictions (due to the pandemic) starting in April, when the high season for tourism in Cuba had already passed.” .

“We had set ourselves a difficult goal, as we almost always do, because tourism plays a fundamental role for the Cuban economy,” the minister acknowledged, despite which he considered that the figure achieved is “a good result.”

For this year, he said that the new goal of 3.5 million tourists is also difficult, but he affirmed that the Caribbean country is prepared for the more than 4 million that it always had in recent times, before the pandemic.

By comparison, in the years between the start of the “thaw” (the period of rapprochement between the US and Cuba between 2014 and 2017) and the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, Cuba received more than 4 million tourists international.

Tourism is Cuba’s second largest source of foreign currency earnings, behind the export of services, mainly health professionals.

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