TripAdvisor ranks communist Cuba as the top cultural destination in the world

Sure, if you consider apartheid, decay, crumbling buildings, hunger, poverty, and misery as culture, then yes, Cuba is the top place. Otherwise, you’re just spitting in the face of the Cuban people and enabling and giving oxygen to the corrupt and oppressive dictatorship that enslaves them.

Via CiberCuba (my translation):

TripAdvisor places Cuba in first place for cultural destination in the world

The world’s largest travel review site, TripAdvisor, has ranked Cuba as the top “cultural destination” in 2024 and the second among the “most popular destinations” in the Caribbean, amidst a context of widespread crisis in the country.

The news has been disseminated with joy by the country’s official media, seeing this result as an encouragement for the much-desired recovery of tourism the country seeks.

“Havana is a blend of old-world architecture and current culture. Leave the capital city for the small town of Trinidad to see more Spanish colonial architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic base for visiting the Valley of the Sugar Mills, an area of land that formerly served as the center of Cuba’s sugar industry,” promoted TripAdvisor on its website.

However, it’s interesting how TripAdvisor included photos of a decaying Havana, highlighting its vintage cars but also the city’s ruins, which are increasingly in worse architectural condition.

Additionally, Cuba took the second position in terms of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean region, surpassed by the Dominican Republic, which has managed to gain ground in terms of tourist attraction, standing out for its hotel infrastructure and also for the hospitality of its staff.

Lastly, the largest island in the Caribbean ranked 18th in the best culinary destinations, a position that stands out amid the severe food crisis affecting Cuban society.

In each description, TripAdvisor notes that U.S. citizens “still need to overcome some hurdles before visiting Cuba, but as visitors from around the world already know, this island offers incredible opportunities for cultural exchange.”

Nonetheless, the destination promoted for its “magnificent beaches” and thousands of attractions did not surpass the three million foreign tourists mark during 2023, according to the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).

Instead, there were numerous complaints about poor service and deplorable conditions in the island’s hotels.

For example, in September 2023, the Canadian government warned its citizens wishing to travel to Cuba about the scarcity of essential items on the Caribbean island.

In a statement, they urged their nationals to “exercise caution” because in Cuba, there is a shortage of food, medicine, and fuel.

Also, a Russian tourist and blogger recounted her 16-day stay at the five-star hotel in Varadero, Iberostar Laguna Azul, an experience she described as “difficult,” and decided to share some advice for those willing to face a similar adventure, including tips, thefts, and scarcity.

Precisely, Varadero, selected by TripAdvisor as the ninth-best beach in the world, has the worst reviews from tourists.

An Argentine visitor reported the terrible experience she had last year at a five-star hotel in Varadero, describing it as “Hell in Paradise.” She stayed with her family at the Meliá Peninsula Varadero in September, a five-day stay where the only good thing was the sea.

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