Virtues and Hopes in Cuba's Tourism
- Submitted by: manso
- Editorial Articles
- 09 / 04 / 2011
By Roberto F. Campos. The Cuban tourism authorities try to close 2011 with the reception of 2.7 million travelers.In the midst of a changing economic situation that today impacts in many ways, especially in poor countries, tourism is for Cuba a useful tool that takes environmental strategies into account.
Until now, the increases and imbalances in fuel prices, and hence the cost of airfare, influence the modern world, especially so in the Caribbean.
However, the Cuban tourism authorities have shown their optimism on several occasions, to the point of trying to close 2011 with the reception of 2.7 million travelers, mostly from Europe and Canada.
A recent report by the National Statistics Office (NSO) shows signs of a growth spiral in the industry, faced with the disadvantages of the global economic crisis and its influences.
The NSO reports that 209,640 international tourists arrived in Cuba last July, signifying an inter-annual growth of 1.6 percent, a figure that keeps the specialists smiling.
The same source reported more than 1,747,510 arrivals from January to July, 9.5 percent over the same period for 2010.
The major source markets are Canada, Russia, Argentina, UK, Chile and France, showing an upturn in Latin America among those most interested in taking a vacation on this island, and therefore reinforcing the already encouraging data for growth in the sector.
The authorities, for example, look very favorably on the upsurge of Argentina, which so far this year -up to August- has accumulated 52,000 visitors, as recorded in Buenos Aires by Luis Aguilera, director of the Office of Information and Promotion of Tourism in Cuba for the southern cone.
The Argentines went from 37,922 visitors in 2007 to 47,657 one year later and to 48,518 in 2009, while last year they numbered 58,604, a good sign for the hopes of continued growth by the authorities.
And everything seems to indicate that an environmental strategy, and variety in offerings, has much to do with the growth of tourism from different nations.
Nature, culture, history, conferences, events and incentive trips are just some of the variants that either add to the attractions of sun and beach or perhaps even compete with them.
Another element to consider in this growth spiral is the advertising campaign called Authentic Cuba, which in its latest version was extended to Hong Kong, China, during the International Tourism Fair in that city.
The director of the Office of the Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) in China, Elizabeth Vela, said at that time that among the attractions of this island are guaranteed quality and safety, besides the traditional sun and beach programs, as pillars of the industry in the country.
Cuba has more than 50,000 hotel rooms spread over some 300 establishments that are mainly located in eight regions for tourism development, and every day there is a growing acceptance by travelers for this destination.