HAVANA, Aug 11th The Ministry of Tourism of Cuba (MINTUR) has assured this Thursday that in the months of 2018 Cuba has already exceeded 3 million foreign visitors; This is despite the fall of 6.5% in the first semester, a fall attributed mainly to the drastic decrease in travel by Americans due to the increase in the restrictions of the Trump government.
However, the statement issued by the MINTUR ensures that in general the arrival of international travelers continued its upward trend in 2018, which would demonstrate “the confidence and recognition achieved by Cuban tourism as a destination for peace, health and safety.”
At the head of the main markets that send tourists to the Island, Canada remains, followed by France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
According to the brief ministerial note, these results would be the prelude to winter (high season) in which “figures higher than those reached in the same period of the previous stage” are expected.
Cuba received 2,505,874 million tourists between January and June 2018; 152,354 fewer visits than in the same stretch of 2017, according to data from sector specialists.
In the first half of this year, US tourism in Cuba fell by 23.6% in relation to the same period of 2017 due, among other factors, to the restrictions imposed on individual trips from the United States. and the alleged “sonic attacks” on US diplomats on the island.
Between January 1 and June 30 of this year, 82,269 American tourists visited Cuba less than in the same period of 2017 (348,713), according to the specialized consulting firm The Havana Consulting Group.
The Cuban Government has set the goal that this year the Island will receive five million tourists, and thus beat a new record, after the almost 4.7 and 4.5 million travelers who arrived in the previous two years, respectively.
Tourism is the second source of income in Cuba, the first is the sale of professional services (especially medical) abroad, which represents a contribution of 10% to gross domestic product (GDP).