MIAMI, United States. – The COVID-19 pandemic has left thousands of tourism workers unemployed in Cuba. That’s what tourism sector minister Juan Carlos García Granda stated this past Thursday on the television program Mesa Redonda.
During his appearance, the official revealed the Cuban regime’s strategy for opening up the country to foreign tourism, a process of de-escalation that will be completed next November 15.
García Granda explained that the eventual increase in foreign-visitor arrivals will benefit tourism workers who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus-related restrictions in effect since last year.
“Of the 111,033 workers in the tourism sector, only 55,832 -50.3%- are actually working, and an additional 2,950 are working remotely or telecommuting. Tourism activity is kept at three destinations; there are workers at centers now earmarked for battling the pandemic, in isolation center, and in hotels that have been converted into pediatric and maternity hospitals due to the new outbreak,” the tourism minister indicated.
García Granda explained that the remaining workers previously employed in the tourism sector before the pandemic have had to be reassigned or are furloughed. Likewise, the official stated that workers from other sectors have been affected, especially those that provide goods and services for the tourism sector which includes workers from the non-state sector that are involved with tourism.
Cuba’s opening to tourism will coincide with the period known as high season in the island, the winter months in the northern hemisphere.
From January 1 until August 31 of this year, Cuba has welcomed only 163,743 international visitors, 2’960,000 visitors less than for the same period in 2019, and 824,000 less than for the same period in 2020, García Granda explained.
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