Cuba’s tourism figures are still robust, despite sanctions by the US as the vital Christmas season approaches.
Cuban Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz said that despite the upsurge of the US blockade against the island, particularly the measures aimed at undermining the tourist sector, a good high season is predicted with a 1.6 percent increase in foreign visitor arrivals by the end of the year.
Speaking on Cuban Tourism Day, which is celebrated for the first time this year, Marrero Cruz said that these results reflect the hard work of his colleagues, hotel chains and the media, when seeking alternatives and promoting the advantages of the country.
This has been a complicated year because the US sanctions particularly when cruise travels were abruptly suspended in June and more recently, regular flights to Cuba, except to Havana, said the minister.
He said: “We are convinced that these are not the only measures, others will come, but we haven’t sat around waiting, we have looked for alternatives and there has been an intense international work on the part of our ministry, hotel chains and agencies, he said when referring to the actions undertaken.”
Over 50 measures have been adopted which are already succeeding despite the bankruptcy of UK’s Jet2Holiday and Thomas Cook companies which together bought more than 95,000 tourists to Cuba. That includes talks with other hotel chains, which do not operate in the Caribbean.
Marrero Cruz said that during his recent visit to China he noticed a significant interest in increasing visits to Cuba.