Cuba expects in 2019 the arrival of five million 100 thousand foreign visitors, a seven percent growth compared to the ending year, officially informed sector officials.
In a press round offered at the capital’s Iberostar Habana Riviera Hotel, Jose Daniel Alonso, Commercial Director of the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), added that figure will be a record for the island’s sector.
He also expressed optimism about tourism development in the greater of the Antilles, with the recovery registered in the occupation level in hotel facilities of the country, as well as in recreational centers after the meteorological phenomena which affected most of the country.
According to sector executives, this year should end with four million 750 thousand foreign visitors, for a 1.3 percent increase compared to the figure registered in 2017.
Regardless, 2018 showed a six percent fall in arrivals by plane, above all in Havana, Varadero, Santa Clara and Jardines del Rey.
In arrivals by sea, however, there was an increase of 48 percent, with 850 thousand cruiser passengers, mainly from the United States.
Canada tops the list as first tourist emitter to Cuba and maintains, for the eighth consecutive year, figures of visitors above one million persons. In 2018, the arrival of Canadians totaled one million 100 thousand visitors. The United States continues in second place and until December 13, there were similar numbers to this market than in 2017.
As for visitors from France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, there was a fall in the number of tourists, while Russia registered an increase of 30 percent.
This year, Mexico registered a visitor increase of 23 percent; Brazil went up 16 percent, while Cubans living abroad rose by 13 percent, China by 10 and Colombia also increased by 10 percent.
At present, Cuba has 70 thousand 879 hotel rooms and Havana, in particular, has 12 thousand 488 rooms in private houses.
Present at the press conference were Michel Bernal Quicutis, director of Development in MINTUR and Janet Ayala, Director of Communications.