From our Bureau of Awesomely Pleasing Disasters with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Gambling Results
For the past decade or so, Castro, Inc. and its many shameless partners have been betting on earning huge profits through their apartheid hotels and resorts.
Even during the tourism apocalypse of the Covid plague, Castro, Inc. and its partners kept expanding Cuba’s apartheid tourist industry, building more and more luxury hotels, even as the rest of the island crumbled away bit by bit and Cubans fled by the hundreds of thousands.
Their gamble has not paid off. Instead, it has proven to be an unmitigated disaster. Nonetheless, the gambling spree continues, as more new luxury hotels continue to be built.
Sadly, the sharp decline in tourist numbers is not due to ethical qualms on the part of those invincibly ignorant louts who normally travel to Cuba., especially Canadians who still top the list of tourists who travel to the totalitarian hellhole in search of “dream holidays.” As statistics reveal, the number of tourists traveling to other Caribbean hot spots has not only rebounded to pre-Covid plague levels, but actually increased in some places, such as the Dominican Republic.
Why are the tourists staying away? One must assume that this tourist drought in Cuba might have something to do with the poor quality of its facilities, and the ambiance of the country as a whole, which can easily depress the hell out of anyone with half a conscience.
Loosely translated from Diario de Cuba
Only 15.6% of hotel rooms were occupied last year in Cuba, according to a report on the fundamental indicators that measure the activity of national and international tourism in the country in 2022, published in March by the state National Office of Statistics and Information of Cuba (ONEI).
This data means that approximately six out of seven rooms remained empty during the 12 months of 2022.
Thus, hotel occupancy in 2022 was 67.6% lower than that registered in 2019, the year before the coronavirus pandemic. In the most serious moments of Covid-19, in 2021, only 5.7% of the rooms were occupied.
The Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) said that in 2002 it had 78,862 hotel rooms, of which 74% are four and five star.
On the other hand, the number of overnight stays —the number of nights accumulated among all foreign visitors in hotels in Cuba— reached 8,441,755 in 2022, more than two-thirds less than the 27,237,590 overnight stays in 2019.
The average expense that each tourist allocated for their vacations in Cuba is not positive either. Last year an average of 495 dollars per foreign visitor was registered. In 2019 each tourist spent 620 dollars.
While the Dominican Republic set a record for tourist arrivals in 2022, with 8.5 million visitors —7,165,387 by plane and 1,311,129 on cruise ships—, Cuba was bogged down in the recovery of the industry after the pandemic, registering the arrival of just 1,614,087 tourists, a figure 5.25 times lower than that reached by the Dominican Republic in the same period of time.
On the origin of foreign tourists arriving in Cuba in 2022, Canadians ranked first, followed by Cubans abroad and Americans, but overall visitor numbers decreased significantly compared to 2019 totals.
Only 532,487 Canadians traveled to Cuba last year, compared to 1,120,077 three years ago. Americans fell from 498,538 to 100,494; while the number of Spaniards —located in fourth place last year— dropped from 146,339 to 83,025.