Cuba has set the goal of receiving 4.5 million international visitors this year and reversing the decline suffered in 2019 with the growth of tourism in Russia and the recovery of quotas for traditional markets in European countries.
The new Minister of Tourism of the island, Juan Carlos García, presented on Tuesday during an appearance on state television the projections of the Cuban leisure industry – considered the locomotive of its economy along with the export of medical services – than in the last Exercise suffered a low of 9.25 percent.
Garcia recalled that the decline in travelers to Cuba’s destination came after the reinforcement of the economic embargo measures applied by the United States government, such as the suspension of cruises from that country and the bankruptcy of tour operators such as the British Thomas Cook .
“It is not the first time that tourism has declined in Cuba. That happened already in 2001, 2007 and 2008, but we have had the possibility of recovering. We are sure that we are going to reverse this situation,” he said.
To achieve this goal, the head of Cuban Tourism opted to continue promoting tourism from Russia, which is currently in second place behind Canada, the main issuing market for visitors to the Caribbean island.
The Russian market went from tenth to fourth place at the end of 2019 when it grew 30 percent by sending a record 178,000 travelers to Cuba, and this year the Cuba Tourism Fair will be dedicated precisely to the Eurasian nation as a guest of honor .
The highest authority of the sector outlined as other measures to recover the growth of previous years the rescue of tourism from events and traditional markets such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain, the incorporation of new ones and continue with investments to update The hotel floor.
Although in 2019 the bar was set at the reception of 5.1 million foreign visitors, that official forecast was revised downwards, first to 4.7 and finally to 4.3 million.
But at the end of 2019 the registered figure was 4.27 million tourists.
However, tourism remains the second largest source of income for Cuba behind the sale of professional services abroad, contributing 10% to gross domestic product (GDP) and generating approximately half a million jobs.