Sunday, April 1, 2012

Projected Growth in Visitors

Cuba Forecasts Tourist Industry will Keep Growing Trend

Cuba’s Tourism First Deputy Minister Alexis Trujillo said at a press conference at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba that the tourist industry will keep the growing trend it has shown in last years.

Trujillo addressed dozens of journalists covering Benedict XVI trip to Cuba, and said that after a slow start in January, the number of visitors have increased by almost 4 percent compared to the same period last year.

The official said the Cuban tourist industry suffered due to the world crisis, and though the number of visitors grew, revenues didn’t but
we still grew 11.9 percent. Now we have a more favourable situation and this far into the year, revenues are 12.2 higher than last year, which we see as a good sign.

He announced that Cuba plans to have 25 000 new hotel rooms throughout the country by 2020, using foreign and government investment capital. Besides having more hotels, Cuba will develop all infrastructures related to the tourist industry, including 13 golf courses, already in different stages of negotiation, and several theme parks, he added.

He highlighted the fact that the number of visitors keeps growing despite the decrease the industry is facing worldwide, keeping a steady 10.5 percent growth a year since 1990, with 2.7 million people visiting Cuba in 
2011, for a 7.3 percent increase.The number of Russian and Argentinean tourists has also increase in a 40 and 30 percent, respectively.
He also explained the different actions the country is undertaking to develop areas with potential to become attractive spots, as part of the strategy to diversify offers and markets. On that regard, he mentioned the boosting of nautical and diving activities, city tours and others greatly demanded by visitors.

Addressing foreign investment, Trujillo said that out of the 58 000 hotel rooms Cuba has under exploitation today, 6 000 are owned by some 30 joint ventures, and they expect this number to grow as well.

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