Cuba to Conclude 2018 with Tourist Record, Minister Says

Havana, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will end 2018 with a tourist record of about 4,750,000 foreign visitors, official reports said on Friday, underscoring the growing spiral of the travel industry in this country.

Granma newspaper issued on Friday that Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said that this figure will be reached despite the U.S. government’s restrictive measures against this country, by preventing its citizens from traveling freely to Cuba.

Cuba closed the year with the aforementioned figure, another record in the sector, which tends to be recovered, the minister said on Wednesday, by offering extensive information during a meeting with tourism workers.

Marrero spoke about the current situation and perspectives of the sector to the delegates and guests attending the 2nd National Conference of Hotel and Tourism Workers, which ends on Friday.

Despite the growth compared to the previous year, he stated that what was planned, up to five million foreign tourists, could have been fulfilled.

This is not fulfilled due to Washington, since late 2017, put into effect a package of measures restricting trips of U.S. citizens to Cuba. A media campaign questioning the Cuban capacity to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma also influenced.

However, until October, Cuba attracted almost more than 700,000 cruise passengers, mainly from the United States and Europe, the minister said.

Despite all this aspects, the Cuban tourism grew, and other economic indicators are positive such as the income per tourists and the index of repeat-visit tourists exceeding 40 percent.

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