Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2.3 Million Tourists in Cuba in 2005

Havana, Jan 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuba welcomed 2 million 300,000 tourists last year, an official report by the Tourism Ministry informed Tuesday, taking December 30 as the closing date for gathering statistics.

The note adds 2005 was marked by several events, such as hurricanes, the effects of the December 2004 tsunamis and skyrocketing oil prices, that negatively influenced the good performance of the industry worldwide, particularly in the Caribbean.

Cuban tourism professionals are committed to work to further increase the number of tourist arrivals, in the face of growing tensions due to economic problems, natural disasters and the cruel US blockade.

However, Cuba had a 12 percent increase in arrivals last year, with Canada, Great Britain, Spain and Mexico as its best markets, while the flow of visitors from the
Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina kept growing.

According to the ministerial report, 100 airlines flew to the Island destinations during the 2004-2005 winter season from 40 cities around the world, representing a 7 percent increase against the previous winter.

MINTUR stresses that the US blockade has caused losses to the Cuban tourist industry by 19.3 billion dollars.

However, despite the hardships, Cuba continues to offer multiple attractive features, and "we are glad that many people choose us as a peaceful, healthy and safe destination," the ministerial reports highlights.

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