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Cuba: Multiplication of foreign tourists compared to 2021

The number of foreign tourists visiting Cuba since the beginning of the year has almost increased sixfold, compared to the corresponding period in 2021, but remains below the levels reached before the Covid-19 pandemic, the government announced today.

Authorities hope that the number of Russian tourists will increase when flights suspended due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are restored.

The National Statistics Agency (ONEI) announced that from January to July the island welcomed 834,891 foreign tourists, up from 141,293 in 2021. Tourism is the second largest economic activity in Cuba, after medical services. The sector collapsed in 2020 and 2021, due to Covid-19 and restrictions on visitor arrivals from the US. The total number of foreign visitors fell from 4.2 million in 2019 to 1 million in 2020.

With the pandemic now better under control, the government hopes foreign tourists will reach 2.5 million this year.

Cuba is counting on Russian tourists, and the country’s ambassador to Moscow, Julio Garmentia, told the Izvestia newspaper last week that an effort was being made to resume direct flights to the island by winter. “We know that Russians are looking forward to spending their holidays in Cuba, and the Cuban people are waiting for them with the hospitality that distinguishes them,” he noted on the official Cubadebate blog.

Russia has in previous years been the number one source of tourists for Cuba, a position this year occupied by Canada, with 258,896 visitors in the first seven months of the year.

Source: AMPE

Source: Capital

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