MIAMI, United States. – In spite of the Cuban government’s massive investment in its hotel infrastructure, tourism statistics continue to indicate that there is a decrease in that sector of the economy, the one that provides the greatest amount of hard currency to the communist dictatorship.
National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI, by its Spanish acronym) data released by economist Pedro Monreal on Twitter indicate that, if First Semester 2023 trends remain the same, the number of visitors at the end of 2023 will fluctuate between 2.3 and 2.9 million tourists.
“Tourism statistics for January to July indicate there is a probability that when 2023 ends, the number of visitors will fluctuate between 2.35 and 2.9 million, a number that is quite far from the initial objective (already discarded) of 3.5 million visitors. This would be a level similar to the one from 10 years ago,” stated the expert.
According to Monreal, the last Quarter of the year “will be a decisive period.”
“What transpires after October will be decisive. The ‘optimistic’ scenario assumes that between August and December of 2023, the number of visitors will be similar to what it was during the same period 2019 (1.41 million). It is less probable that 2017 levels will be achieved (1.79 million) or 2018 levels (1.82 million),” indicated this economist.
Canada continues to be Cuba’s principal source of tourists, totaling 42.3% of all visitors.
“International tourism in Cuba depends primarily on Canada (42.3% of total visitors), followed by the Cuban community living abroad (14.2%) and the United States (6.6%). These three main sources of visitors make up almost two-thirds of the total (63%),” indicated Monreal.
This expert indicated that the Cuban community abroad provided more visitors to the island between January and July 2023 (210,019) than the total from the five principal tourism markets from Western Europe combined (190,036), and 2.4 more than tourists from Russia (87,509).
Monreal explains that the numbers themselves indicate the decadence of international tourism to the island. in 2013, Cuba welcomed 2.86 million visitors when it had 65,136 guest rooms. Ten years later, Cuba will welcome between 2.35 and 2.9 million visitors, but with an inventory of 80,000 hotel guest rooms.
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