Cuba intends to exceed the goal it did not reach in 2023: more than 3 million tourists

Cuba intends to exceed the goal it did not reach in 2023: more than 3 million tourists

HAVANA, Jan. 5 Something that Cuba did not accomplish in 2023, intends to do so this year: adding more than 3 million foreign visitors. How come? What are the strategies that the Ministry of Tourism will apply? Will the quality of hotel services improve?

Although last year’s figure was indeed much higher than 2022, with some 2,450,000 visitors registered until October and a growth of 50% compared to 2022, the plan did not meet the projections.

The obstacles are known. The Cuban authorities have commented on it more than once: an absence of a system approach for the integrated management of the destination, the restriction on the payment methods for services and offers, the deterioration of infrastructure to support tourist activity, the insufficient preparation of local governments to guarantee tourism management of their territories and the difficulties with human capital are some of those mentioned.

Canada and Russia, the main source markets, helped a lot in reporting these figures. To continue with Latin American and Caribbean countries with around 9% in the market structure, growing by 75% compared to 2022.

It is known that “the safest earnings in foreign currency in the country are those that come from tourism activity. That is why tourism is called the locomotive of the economy, and our enemies know it,” said Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, always alleging the effects caused by the United States financial blockade on the Island.

Cuba fundamentally has two competencies in the area: Mexico and the Dominican Republic, which have recovered at a faster rate in the country after the disaster left by the pandemic, “but 50% of their tourists are Americans. Cuba cannot benefit from the main market in the region,” adds Marrero.

For García Granda, the Minister of Tourism, the focus of attention should not only be on foreign visitors, but also on national tourism, but he also insists on one point: “We have not reactivated flights as we would like, but we must look for new markets issuers of visitors, such as Latin American countries,” he reported.

And this, he added: “We must ensure that all capabilities remain in the territory. We have a very rich heritage, but we have to know how to present it to the visitor,” said García Granda.

Several aspects of analysis arise at this point. Many tourists often denounce the poor quality of hotels in Cuba, both in city and sun and beach facilities.
For this reason, a rethinking of strategies is required that does not only lie in building more hotels, but also inspecting that those that are currently in operation are working profitably.

Despite the general crisis suffered by Cubans, from which the tourism sector has not been exempt, Cuba prioritizes this constant flow of visitors, precisely because of the entry of foreign currency, income that to this day continues to be a source of questioning. , since a large part of the hotels are operated by military companies, which report directly to the Cuban government.