Sustained increase in tourism to Cuba
Latin American country with most growth this year
Freddy Pérez Cabrera
CAIBARIEN.—Through April of 2012,
the number of visitors to Cuba has grown by 5.2% in
comparison with last year, as was announced during
the opening of the 32nd International Tourism Fair,
which initiated its sessions May 8 in Cayo Santa
María, Villa Clara province.
Manuel Marrero (center)
with Fair participants.
Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz
stated that a total of 1.24 million visitors
traveled to Cuba from January through April.
The principal source countries are
Canada and France, as well as Argentina, this last
with a growth of 50%. Russia, Germany, Mexico,
Holland, Colombia and Brazil are also showing
sustained growth, Marrero noted.
He observed that this sustained
development is due to Cuba’s interest in promoting
more complete and comprehensive visits, including
history, nature, culture, health and events as added
options to traditional sun and beach vacations. This
has resulted in a growing demand for this kind of
tourism, particularly in national heritage cities.
In response to this demand, Marrero
announced upcoming investments in Viñales, Santa
Clara, Remedios, Cienfuegos, Bayamo, Camagüey, Ciego
de Avila, Baracoa, Trinidad and Havana, to expand
hotel capacity in these areas.
The Tourism Minister also noted that
Cuba currently has a total of 58,626 rooms, 63% of
which are located in four and five star hotels,
reflecting the high degree of comfort in these
He added that this sustained
increase has been paralleled by advances in civil
aviation, with the upgrading in 2011 of Varadero
Airport and Terminal 2 of the capital’s José Martí
facility, while the runway of Santa Clara’s Abel
Santamaría terminal is to be extended in order to
receive large aircraft.