HAVANA, April 3 (Xinhua) Chinese tourists can help Cuba’s tourism industry recover from the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Cuban expert has said.
“The number of Chinese tourists who have visited the island over the past few years has increased, strengthening historical links between the two countries,” Jose Luis Perello, a university professor and tourism industry analyst, told Xinhua recently.
“China continues to be a fundamental emerging market for the tourism sector in Cuba,” he said, adding that the island nation is a Caribbean tourist destination preferred by some Chinese travelers.
The local tourism industry, said Perello, could take advantage of the opportunity when a major number of Chinese citizens travel abroad for holidays in a post-pandemic scenario.
“Due to the eradication of absolute poverty in China, and the subsequent increase of the purchasing power of its population, more Chinese people are likely to go on vacation overseas,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the signing of agreements for hotel management with Chinese companies would also be very positive for the development of the local tourism industry in Cuba, which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis,” he told Xinhua.
“China has considerable expertise in managing hotel facilities and is playing a fundamental role in the development of the global economy and tourism,” he added.
“Cuba could become a platform for Chinese tourists to visit other Caribbean destinations such as the Dominican Republic and Jamaica,” said Perello.
Chinese companies could also provide Cuban hotel facilities with the supplies they need, he said, noting the importance of China as the island’s second-largest commercial partner.
Perello said that China will be the Guest of Honor at the International Tourism Fair of Cuba in 2022, adding that it sends a “clear message on the importance of Chinese tourists’ arrivals for the tourism industry on the island.”