MIAMI, United States. – Cuba welcomed 564,847 tourists in the first five months of 2022, a number that is above the registered visitors welcomed last year for the same period, when the number of tourists fell to a historic low due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI, by its Spanish acronym), arrivals to date this year represent 600% more than were accounted for in the first five months of 2021.
The report states that Cuba’s principal tourist markets were Canada, the community of Cuban residents abroad, Russia, the United States and Germany.
April was the month that saw the largest number of arrivals, with 133,281, followed by March (128,817) and May (177,000).
In spite of the increase when compared to 2021, the number of visitors –which climbed between January and April- experienced a significant decrease in May, a drop that according to Cuban economist Pedro Monreal, “corresponds to the usual cyclical flow of tourism in Cuba.”
“The arrival of international visitors to Cuba dropped 12.2% in May, mainly reflecting a 32% contraction in visitors from Cuba’s largest tourist market (Canada). The trajectory corresponds to the usual cyclical flow of tourism in Cuba,” stated the expert on Twitter.
Monreal also explained that it is evident that the flow of Cubans who reside abroad and who visit the island has increased, as well as “the disappearance of Russian tourism,” a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the number of visitors remains below the Cuban regime’s projections of reaching 2.5 million tourists by the end of 2022.
In 2021, Cuba welcomed 356,470 tourists, less than a third of the number it welcomed in 2020. In 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the island welcomed 4.2 million international visitors.
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