Published on : Thursday, January 10, 2019
The 2018 figure is higher than 2017’s 4.5 million visitors but lower than the anticipated 5.1 million arrivals, according to Alejandro Gil, Cuba’s minister of economy and planning.
Gil attributed the decline in visitor numbers to bad-weather events, including mistaken concerns about damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. The decline was also due to confusion regarding the Trump administration’s restrictions on travel.
However, the number still represents a 60% jump in arrivals over the last five years.
Canada and the U.S. remain the top two tourist markets for Cuba; however, Cuban tourism officials recently launched a renewed campaign to boost traffic from Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany as well as from potential markets in China, Japan, India and South Africa, according to Gil.
For this year, overall tourism numbers are expected to increase to 5.1 million visitors.