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Cuba Welcomed Record Number of Visitors in 2018


Cuba welcomed a record 4.75 million tourists in 2018, a 60 percent increase over tourism numbers from four years ago.

According to the Daily Mail, one of the main reasons behind the jump in arrivals was attributed to the cruise industry and the 48 percent increase in passengers docking at Cuba’s Havana port, especially from the United States.

While the increase in cruise passengers descending on Havana is good for overall tourism perception, the tourists only spend a short time in the city and are not impacting the economy as much as government officials had hoped.

The airline industry also didn’t live up to expectations, with arrivals dropping six percent over the last year. As a result of the cruise passengers not staying overnight and fewer airline customers arriving, numbers for Cuban hotels and bed-and-breakfasts were also down.

Canada remains Cuba’s top tourist market, with 1.1 million Canadians visiting in 2018.

Tourism officials in Cuba said they were concerned about a drop in visitors from Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, but they launched a renewed campaign to bring travelers in from those countries, as well as developing potential markets in China, Japan, India and South Africa.

For 2019, overall tourism numbers are expected to rise again to 5.1 million.


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