Cuba hits the 3 million tourists mark over a month earlier than in 2015

Posted: 17-Oct-16 10:11

An official release from Cuba´s Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) revealed that as of 8th October 2016 Cuba had reached the 3 million tourists figure, a whole 39 days earlier than the previous year, marking an overall grown of 12 per cent. The great news is accompanied by high expectations of the island closing the year on a high, with a total of 3.8 million visitors, which would represent a growth of around 9 per cent in comparison to 2015’s overall tourism figures.

Cuba hits the 3 million tourists mark over a month earlier than in 2015

Further confirmation that Cuba is more popular than ever on holidaymakers’ eyes, an official release from the island’s tourism authorities revealed that Cuba has already surpassed the 3 million tourists figure in 2016 and is gearing up to welcome another record-breaking total of 3.8 million tourists by the end of the year, beating the 3.5 million total of tourist that made it to Cuba in 2015.

According to an article published on Hosteltur, Cuba reached the 3 million tourist mark on 8th October, 39 days earlier than in 2015 and also indicating an overall growth of 12 per cent.

This news comes hand in hand with the forecasted projection of receiving a total of 3.8 million tourists by the end of the year, not a far-fetched expectation given that the three months ahead coincide with the country’s high tourist season and many new direct commercial flights from the U.S. are set to take off over the last few months of the year, bringing an extra flood of travellers and pushing up the tourist numbers. In addition to the eight new scheduled winter flights to Cuba from the U.S. it was recently confirmed that Southwest Airlines would launch its newest Tampa-Havana route next 12th December.

Whatever the total annual figure ends up being for 2016, it will most certainly beat 2015’s by at least 8 per cent. Last year, the island welcomed a record-breaking total of 3.5 million tourists but this year’s 3.8 million projected figure is set to make history once again.

The article by Hosteltur also draws attention to the fact that over the last year or so (but more prominently in the last few months) Cuba has been actively investing in the diversification of its tourism product, also seeking foreign investment sources for the creation of new hotels in major tourism destinations like Havana, Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria, Jardines del Rey and Holguin, which are also among the fastest growing tourism hotspots.

When it comes to foreign investment, Canadian hotelier Blue Diamond has already been taking over a few of Cuba’s most popular beach resorts in Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria and Havana, while U.S.-based Starwood has already taken over the former Quinta Avenida Hotel in Miramar and the iconic Hotel Inglaterra in Old Havana with more American-run hotels expected to follow suit.

Demand for hotel rooms continues growing at a rocketing pace, especially from markets like Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Argentina, in that order. This fresh news on Cuba beating previous tourism annual figures and continuing to lead the way in the Caribbean region, has been welcomed by the island’s tourism sector, which is now overwhelmed with repair works after the passing of Hurricane Matthew in the country’s eastern region, leaving a trail of devastation in Baracoa, a fascinating historic city (Cuba’s oldest) growing in popularity among foreign visitors. 


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