From our Bureau of Very Good News with some assistance from our Heartbreak Hotel Bureau of Bad News
The good news is that Castro, Inc. has sustained a crushing blow to its main source of income. The bad news is that this setback is not due to a boycott fueled by moral outrage, but rather to the coronavirus plague.
Don’t be fooled by this setback. As they lick their wounds, the military junta that runs the country and its tourist industry keeps building more and more luxury hotels –as always, with money from foreign investors — in anticipation of a roaring comeback after the plague subsides.
One question hovers over this statistic: why wasn’t the decline in tourists 100% in 2021? Who in their right mind would travel to a plague-ridden third world hellhole?
Yes, you guessed it: mostly Russians –who brought new strains of the plague virus and caused a spike in deaths — along with some of the usual morally bankrupt and dim-witted suspects from Canada and the rest of Europe.
From Periodico Cubano
The National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) confirmed with more than a month of delay the final figures for the arrival of tourists to Cuba during 2021. In the 12 months of 2021, only 8.3% of the tourists who visited the Island in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic appeared on the Island.
Last year was particularly disastrous as the figure of only 356,470 tourists meant a reduction of 32.8% compared to the visitors who arrived in the first year of the pandemic: 2021.
The main source of tourists to Cuba was Russia, which accounted for 41% of the total, leaving Canada -traditionally the first source market for tourism to the Island- for a second position, well relegated with 6.1% of the total.
For their part, the four main European issuers (Germany, Italy, Spain and France) generated 5.2% of what they had contributed in 2019.
Despite the poor results, which include the last months of 2021 considered as the high stage of tourism, the Cuban government sets the goal of reaching 2.5 million visitors by 2022.
In the six years from 2014 to 2020, the construction of luxury hotels in Cuba grew without enough tourists arriving to have profitable occupancy levels.
During this interval, approximately 12,500 new luxury rooms were built, but the presence of tourists did not correspond to the pace of construction.