MIAMI, United States. – Cuba’s Minister of Econony and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández, said last Monday that the island was showing “a tendency toward gradual recovery” of the tourism sector, due to the arrival of 313,908 foreign visitors during the First Quarter 2022.
During last Monday’s Council of Ministers meeting for the month of April, Gil Fernández referred to the progress of the Economy Plan and particularly to the performance of the tourism sector in the island following two years of coronavirus pandemic, according to official Cuban news media.
The minister stated that during March alone, 128,159 international visitors had arrived in the country, for both business and personal travel, a number that is way higher than the 12,552 registered visitors for the same month in 2021.
“There has been a month-to-month increase this year, and April is projected to perform better than March,” stated Gil Fernández. “The nation’s tourism sector has performed favorably,” he added.
According to date provided by Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI, by its Spanish acronym), only 573,944 international travelers visited Cuba last year, a decrease of 60% when compared to 2020.
Meanwhile, between January and February of this year, 185,749 foreign tourists visited Cuba, an increment of 522.5% when compared to the same period in 2021, according to ONEI’s data.
Cuba’s principal tourist market for the first two months of 2022 were Canada, in first place with 40,821 visitors, and Russia in second place with 35,871 visitors.
In 2021, the Russian market outdid the Canadian market; Canada had traditionally occupied first place as a source of tourists to Cuba. However, cancellation of Russian airline flights due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have made the numbers plummet in that sector.
“This situation means that Cuba will find it hard to meet its objective of welcoming 2.5 million tourists in 2022,” stated Paolo Spadoni to the Reuters news agency, Spadoni is an expert on the Cuban economy who teaches at the University of Augusta, in the state of Georgia.
However, “the country will not give up on its goal to welcome in 2022 close to 2.5 million tourists,” stated Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, in March.
According to the Spanish news agency EFE, the Cuban economy would receive US$1.159 billion if it meets the government’s goal of welcoming 2.5 million visitors in 2022.
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