Saturday, October 19, 2013

Americans traveling to Cuba in record numbers


Tourists ride a U.S.-made 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible car on Havana's seafront boulevard 'El Malecon' May 21, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Desmond Boylan

HAVANA | Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:50am EDT
 
(Reuters) - Americans are visiting Cuba in record numbers despite strict travel restrictions, joining the hundreds of thousands of Cuban Americans who travel home each year, according to Cuban government figures published on Friday.

Just over 98,000 U.S. citizens visited Cuba in 2012, up from 73,500 in 2011 and twice the number compared with five years ago, according to an online report by the National Statistics Office (www.one.cu).

The numbers do not include more than 350,000 Cuban Americans estimated by travel agents and U.S. diplomats to have visited the island last year. Because Cuba considers them nationals, they are not listed in its tourism statistics.

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