HAVANA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Cuba registered the arrival of one million tourists in the first quarter of 2011, the Ministry of Tourism reported Monday.
The figure represents an increase of 10.4 percent compared with the same period in 2010.
The ministry said in a statement the rise was attributed to more tourists from Canada, Russia, Argentina, Britain, Chile, Poland, Venezuela and Belgium.
The ministry also said the revival of cruise operations since last November had provided an important boost to the tourism industry. The cruise industry resumed after a three-year standstill caused by ongoing travel restrictions by the United States.
Cuba expects to receive 2.7 million tourists in 2011, up from 2.5 million in 2010. The tourism industry is worth about 2.221 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchange revenues and is Cuba's second largest economic activity after the export of professional services to other countries.
The development and diversification of tourism is included in the economic reforms initiated by Cuban leader, Raul Castro, and aimed at lifting Cuba out of the economic crisis that has affected the island's economy in the past 20 years.
Editor: Xiong Tong