The pandemic lockdowns affected tourism all over the world, but most countries have managed to recover. In communist Cuba, however, the dictatorship’s apartheid tourism recovery is lagging way behind.
Cuban Tourism Has Recovered Only 50% with Respect to 2019
Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, blamed “the campaigns to discredit Cuba.”
During the first quarter of 2023, 1’298,539 tourists arrived in Cuba, which represents a mere 50% tourism recovery with respect to 2019. That figure was shared by Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Granda, before representatives of the Attention to Services Commission of the People’s National Assembly.
As is customary with speeches delivered by Cuban Authorities, García Granda blamed “the campaigns to discredit Cuba, which take place starting from social networks to migratory actions,” to influence the sector negatively.
The minister, who was quoted by the official newspaper Granma, stated that the principal tourist market continues to be Canada, with more than 500,000 visitors, followed by the Cuban émigré market, the United States and Russia.
The regime places its hopes for recovering the tourism sector on Russia, although visitor arrival is still far below the government’s pretentious projection of 3.5 million tourists for 2023.
Russia “should position itself in the next few months as the third tourist market for Cuba, in part because of the reopening of direct air connections between both nations that were affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” stated minister García Granda.
As far as the plan for recovering the 5,528 guest rooms out of service in the national tourist industry, he stated that, as of the end of June, only 1,397 guest rooms had been recovered, representing only 25% of what the plan called for, and 43% of the cumulative plan.
In its efforts to bring about a tourism turn-around, the government has continued this year with its Cuba Destination promotional campaign in numerous countries.
The 2022 plan called for the arrival of 2.5 million tourists on the island, but only 1’014,000 visitors arrived, or 64.6% of those anticipated. That number represented 37.8% of the number of visitors in 2019.