MADRID, Spain, – At this Monday’s Annual Evaluation Assembly of the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR, by its Spanish acronym), Cuban authorities insisted on the importance of the tourism sector for the country’s economy.
According to a report published by the official news medium Cubadebate, Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel referred to Cuba as “a politically stable country with public safety and epidemiological security,” and therefore “with potentials for developing tourism.”
Díaz-Canel, who insists on reaching 2.5 million tourists visiting the island in 2022, considered essential factors “talent, innovation and individual effort” for the recovery of this sector; as well as “to develop strategies to counteract the effects of the tightening of the embargo, of evil imperialist aggression and of the pandemic.”
Cuba’s president also referred to the dynamics of investment in the country in recent years, which has prioritized tourism, a detail that “is often not understood by some of our population,” as he admitted in his own words.
During his intervention, he also mentioned the International Tourism Fair FITCuba 2022, which he considers an “extraordinary event, well-conceived, cultured, innovative, that will highlight the potentialities of Cuban tourism.”
FITCuba 2022, which will take place in May of this year in Varadero, has Russia as its guest of honor, a decision that the authorities in the island are standing by in spite of the fact that most democratic nations have imposed sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Prime minister Manuel Marrero Cruz mentioned that the tourism sector “has come to a halt” due to several factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, and he outlined the following strategies to ensure its recovery: Design new deals and incentivize multi-destinations; Transform tourism’s business system with a more-innovative enterprise; and Perfect and consolidate the existing businesses and add more.
Marrero Cruz also acknowledged the consequences on Cuba’s tourism of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Cuba’s tourism sector has not been able to recover since the country reopened its borders last November 15th.
“At present, with the absence of the Russian market, it becomes vital to reinforce the presence of traditional tourism markets, like Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as to bank on Latin American tourism and promote deals aimed at the domestic market,” he added.
According to official statistics, a total of 146,151 tourists arrived in Cuba in 2020. In mid 2021, more than half of registered tourists were Russian.
The government in Havana expected that at least 20% of international tourists would be Russian in 2022. This goal has been frustrated by the conflict unleashed by Russia when it attacked Ukraine.
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