While apartheid tourism is attractive to some travelers, Cuba’s communist dictatorship is finding out there’s not enough ignorant or heartless people in the world to meet their lofty tourism goals. After the collapse of their apartheid tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Castro regime optimistically forecast 3.5 million tourists would flock to the island in 2023. That estimate fell way short.
Cuba Welcomes 2.1 Million Tourists: The Regime Fails to Meet Its ‘Goal’ Again
The countries that generated the most tourists to Cuba in 2023 were Canada, Russia and the United States.
During the period January to November 2023, Cuba welcomed 2.1 million tourists, according to reports from the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI, by its Spanish acronym). This number underscores once again that the government’s goal of attracting 3.5 million international visitors in 2023 will not be met for a second year in a row. The tourism sector, which is vital for the regime’s economy, has not recovered the four-to-five million visitors that used to arrive in Cuba before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data provided by ONEI reveals an increase of 158.1% in tourist arrivals between January and November 2023 when compared to the same period 2022.
November showed itself to be the most encouraging month in terms of the arrival of international tourists, with 204,745 people, which was the largest arrival of visitors since April, when the island welcomed 231,658 tourists.
The countries that generated the most tourists to Cuba in 2023 were Canada, Russia, the United States, Spain, Germany and Mexico. The Cuban community residing abroad generated 325,295 visitors to the 2.1 million visitors registered.
It was learnt last October 6th that Cuba as a tourist destination ranked last in sector recovery in the Caribbean, according to reports by the European company Forwardkeys, the principal facts generator about travel worldwide.
Through a ranking process, the company analyzed unemployment in the tourism sector following the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba ranked number 28, last on the list.
Several months ago, Cuban economists warned that the food and public health crisis, as well as fuel shortages that Cuba is experiencing would make tourism recovery –to pre-pandemic levels- an impossible task. “The complex situation of the economy affects tourism because, for example, a tourist needs to rent a car to transport him or herself around the country, but cannot with the fuel shortage; sometimes, in a five-star hotel, there aren’t enough supplies,” Cuban professor Omar Everleny stated to Agencia EFE.