Cuba tourism way up through October

Cuba tourism way up through OctoberHAVANA, Nov. 28th Cuba welcomed its four millionth visitor for the year at the end of October, a 23% increase from a year earlier according to the Ministry of Tourism.

In 2016, Cuba didn’t hit the 4 million mark until December.

Cuba has set a target of 4.7 million international visitors by the end of 2017 and 5 million for 2018.

Now the second largest contributor to the country’s GDP, tourism spending was up 9% in the first six months of the 2017, to $1.5 billion.

The Cuban government said the number of American visitors is up, although Canada remains the largest market, generating more than one-third of all arrivals.

Through May, the number of U.S. visitors to Cuba totaled more than 284,000, the same amount as in all of 2016 and 74% up from 2015, according to Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information.

U.S. numbers were expected to fall off in the last half of this year, due to the Trump administration’s decision to roll back parts of President Obama’s Cuba policy, including individual travel to Cuba.