Chasing tourist dollars

This morning news has several stories about tourism and Cuba. Sometimes I wonder if the thugs in Havana hava a propaganda dartboard they use to pick their story of the day.
They say Cuba’s in the midst of a tourism explosion, and that Cuba may soon be a contender in the fight for tourism dollars. But all is not well in Cuba’s tourist industry, which they of course blame on the embargo.
Some numbers the from Nassau Guardian:

In 2003 alone, 1.9 million tourists visited Cuba, of which some 600,000 were from Canada, generating revenue of $2.1billion. Meanwhile, at home in The Bahamas, there were 4.7 million visitors in 2006 and they spent an estimated $2.056 billion compared with the 4.8 million visitors in 2005 who spent an estimated $2.069 billion.
However, this 4.8 million visitors in 2005 was a decline over the previous year, falling by 4.5 percent after reaching five million in 2004.
For the first quarter of this year, there have been declines in visitor arrivals by 0.9 percent, according to the tourism minister Neko Grant, as outlined in his budget communication.
Meanwhile, in Cuba, everything is promoted for its tourists: The cigar industry, sports, music, the arts, the beaches and cays – mainly the Varadero resort, Cuban food and restaurants, neo-classical architecture and its colonial style homes, just to name a few.

They leave out the comparison the fact that in Cuba, unlike in the Bahama’s the benefits of all that work for toursits does not benefit the people. Cuban’s don’t receive their share of those tourist dollars, Cuban’s don’t enjoy the infrastructure they build, because just as the quote above states, in Cuba everything is for the tourists, including the people, who are sold to the highest bidder, and that has nothing to do with any embargo.