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Travel and Tourism in Cuba

Cuba tourism market: A major source of income for the economy

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2014-02-12 19:44:02 - Travel and Tourism in Cuba - a new market research report on

Guaranteeing air services is a priority for the Cuba tourism market. LAN Airlines, Copa Airlines, and TACA Airlines all increased the frequency of their flights to Cuba and the variety of destinations they served in 2012. Avianca introduced two extra weekly flights from Bogota to Cuba, Interjet began offering a twice-weekly service from Monterrey in northeastern Mexico to Havana, and Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines increased the number of seats on their flights. The Cuban Ministry of Tourism coordinated efforts with the airlines to make this possible.

Cuba has a positive balance of payments. One of the major sources of income to the economy, after sugar and nickel, is travel and tourism. Due to its strategic location in the Caribbean, tourists



visit the island all the year round. The government recognises the importance of tourism to the island and is striving to advertise its improvements in infrastructure and service. Tourists continue to search for interesting historic and cultural places to stay, and Cuba´s Encanto (charming) Hotels project offers tourists the chance to stay in refurbished historic accommodation.

While Canada continues to provide the greatest amount of tourists, Cuba is looking to expand its popularity to new areas. The eurozone crisis is a threat to Cuban travel and tourism as Spanish tourists may continue to be affected by economic difficulties. Latin America is being looked at as having the potential for growth and additional air services are being agreed upon. Also, the number of visitors from Russia continues to grow.

Hurricane Sandy hit eastern Cuba in 2012. It left destruction in the historic city of Santiago de Cuba, where it caused damage to many historic buildings and uprooted trees. In the city of Guantanamo, east of Santiago de Cuba, several telephone poles were blown across the street, and historic buildings in the city centre were damaged. While the government was praised for its efforts in rebuilding, six months after the hurricane, not all repairs had been completed.

In January 2011, US President Barack Obama relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba, allowing Americans to visit Cuba for religious, academic and other non-governmental travel. Furthermore, US international airports could now apply for licences to allow charter flights to enter Cuba; however, in September 2012, tour operators complained that it was difficult for them to obtain licences to sell tours in Cuba after the US government tightened restrictions on the itineraries that qualified, but, about a month afterwards (after complaints), more licences were being issued.

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