Cuba Close to 4,7 Million Tourist Arrivals

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Havana, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuba had by November 26 some 4,2 million tourist arrivals, and tourism authorities expect to close 2017 with more than 4,7 million, the president of Viajes Cuba travel agency, Jose Manuel Bisbe, told here Wednesday representatives of important cruise lines.

Bisbe told foreign executives of the largest cruise companies who are meeting in Havana with tourism authorities that 248,000 travelers visited the Island from the U.S. in 2016, compared to this year’s 573,000 despite hurdles put up by the administration of Donald Trump.

After highlighting that safety and hospitality are two of the island’s values, Bisbe recalled that Cuba has 9 World Heritage sites, 14 National Parks and 257 National Monuments, besides Biosphere Reserves, with a yearly increase of 10 percent in tourist arrivals.

He added there are 68,000 hotel rooms, 69 percent of hotels is ranked as four and five stars and Cuban tourism authorities are carrying out 140 investment projects that include new hotels, properties development associated to golf courses and there is a favorable foreign investment law.

Bisbe further said there are 20 foreign hotel chains with 88 establishments operating in Cuba, representing almost 65 percent of the total, and 27 joint ventures operate 4,500 four and five stars rooms.

The tourist executive envisioned that Cuba hope to have 103,000 hotel rooms by 2030, with 23 marinas, 24 golf courses and 47 projects devoted to adventure. He illustrated that in Peninsula Ramon, eastern province of Holguin, a large tourist destination with 19,159 rooms is under construction.

He added that in Sabinal Key, to the north of the central province of Camaguey, a hotel complex with 12,785 rooms is being developed, while constructions in Paredon Grande Key and Las Brujas Key include 2,895 rooms. The latter will host next May the International Tourism Fair, FITCuba 2018.

The Cruise Lines International Association chose Havana for its meeting as Cuba is enjoying a tourist boom. Executives from the 12 most important cruise lines, most of them based in the U.S. are attending the gathering.

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