In 2020, tourism in the country declined to a level last seen in 1996, when the landmark first million international visitors arrived, and in 2021 only 356,453 vacationers visited
After a precipitous decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other international issues, the Cuban tourism sector is recovering, and evidence of the rebirth is the number of visitors who have arrived through the month of May: 1,070,350, three times more than this period in 2021.
The news was announced by tourism expert DSc José Luis Perelló, during the XV International Seminar on Journalism and Tourism, which took place in Havana.
The researcher recalled that, in 2020, tourism faced a crisis never before seen, both in depth and scope, since the impact of COVID-19, aggravated by the Trump administration’s intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, and led to a decline to a level last seen in 1996, when the landmark first million international visitors arrived. In 2021, only 356,453 vacationers arrived.
In 2020, 1,085,920 tourists visited the nation, well below the four million who arrived annually between 2016 and 2019.
In 2021, the expert continued, the extremely negative impacts of the pandemic and the economic crisis affected most countries; while, due to a temporary situation, travel to the Caribbean by Russians increased, mainly to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Other emissary markets tightened travel restrictions, which further limited tourism to the Island, with the arrival of only 356,453 vacationers that year.
A recovery process began in 2022, although far from our potential. In January, the main emissary market continued to be Russia; but during February, March and April, Canada (historically the origin of the greatest number of tourists to Cuba) once again occupied the first position, Perelló noted.
He emphasized that Cuba currently has available more than 80,000 hotel rooms and 20,000 in private B&B’s, with a projection of 95.000 rooms in 2030, of which 28% will be in Havana.