Cuba: the tourist industry goes up in smoke…

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Cuba registered only 190,747 tourists last July and has yet to reach 2 million travelers five months before the end of the year, while the authorities maintain an unrealistic forecast of 3.5 million visitors by December.

The data hailed by the Cuban Information and Statistics Office – thanks to the reactivation of many flights – is 178% more than in 2022, showing that the figures before the pandemic are far from being reached. In 2019, the last year before Covid-19, 2,856,761 foreign visitors arrived at the end of July, 32.7% more than today.

We have devoted several papers to the subject of the collapse of the largest island in the Caribbean, including one in particular on the decline in tourism, here it is:

Cuba: in 2022, 8 out of 10 rooms were unoccupied

Comparing the numbers for this month of July with those for the same month in the years before the pandemic, the numbers are still dire. In July 2019, nearly 300,000 tourists came to the island, 100,000 more than this year, while in 2018 there were nearly 400,000, twice as many as this year.

In terms of nationalities, Canada is once again the number one market, well ahead of all the others. Last month, 47,017 Canadians came to Cuba, bringing to 630,041 the number of Canadians who vacationed on the island this year. The number of Cubans living abroad is far behind, with a total of 210,019 in 2023. Even so, expatriates continue to represent a very large group, followed by Americans, a market growing by 188% compared to the previous year. The Russians, the market targeted by the authorities, is gradually recovering with the resumption of flights to the island, in addition to extending existing routes.

Another country with which the strengthening of ties is noticeable is Mexico, which has left far behind some of the European countries that traditionally vacationed on the island. With a total of 34,298 people, the Mexicans are ahead of the United Kingdom and Italy. In the middle are Spain, Germany, and France with 4,976 visitors in July and a total of 36,549 during the year.

Last Monday, the first group of Chinese tourists arrived in the island, a country which is not yet included in local statistics, but whose communist regime also has great hopes.

Catherine Mills Avatar