Cuba reaches the 2 million visitors figure in record time for 2016

Posted: 16-Jun-16 10:30

Last Monday, official authorities from Cuba's Ministry of Tourism announced the arrival of 2 million international visitors to the island during the first half of 2016, a figure that was reached 27 days earlier than last year and a strong indicator of the rising popularity of Cuba as a tourist destination.

Cuba reaches the 2 million visitors figure in record time for 2016

If there was any doubt that Cuba has quickly become one of Latin America’s trendiest and hottest destinations, official sources now confirm this fact as the island’s Ministry of Tourism recently revealed that a total of 2 million holidaymakers had arrived to Cuba so far this year, a figure reached almost a month earlier than last year.

As of 13th June 2016 Cuba had welcomed 2 million foreign visitors and if the island’s tourism continues growing at this rate the island could easily exceed the 3.5 million figure achieved last year and reach a figure close to (or over) 4 million – a smashing record in Cuba’s history and a figure only one other Caribbean nation has reached. Trailing hot behind Dominican Republic’s wheels, if the island’s intoxicating tourism appeal continues to grow as it has recently and the path for more Americans visiting the island is carved, it could probably knock off the Dominican Republic’s number one position over the next few years.

The only thing stopping Cuba from tripling and quadrupling its tourism numbers in the near future is its lacking tourism infrastructure and slow pace of building new hotels to accommodating the larger influx of visitors. Something that’s already causing problems as some of the most popular hotels and casas particulares are booked to full capacity for months. There’s also a lack of quality luxury hotels to meet international standards, especially those of American visitors, who could soon be free to travel to the island unlicensed and in big numbers if the embargo is fully lifted.

Having said that, the island has been taking some steps to improve overall tourism infrastructure and pick up the pace with new hotel builds extending all the way into 2020. Cuba is due to open over 30 new hotels in the next three to five years with some opening soon in Havana, Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria, Jardines del Rey and Holguin. Still, many experts say the overall number of planned hotels under construction won’t be enough to meet future demand, not even current demand as it stands, and that many more hotels should be added to the pipeline.

A statement from the Ministry of Tourism read:

“For the present year, we aim to reach better results that also contribute to the development of our society. This is possible thanks to the support we receive from our government, the input of all the people who work in the tourism sector and the work of all those who collaborate in Cuba’s tourism industry.”

With an impressive 11.9 per cent growth, these latest figures in the number of foreign arrivals to the island show an amazing leap from the previous year. An official statement release from Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism said that leading markets like Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Argentina, in that order, continue to bring a growing number of visitors to the island.

On a final note, the official release also added that the Ministry of Tourism continues pushing up the standards of their services as well as diversifying the overall tourism product.


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