Foreign Visitors Spent $1.8 Billion in Cuba Last Year


HAVANA – International tourists spent $1.8 billion in Cuba in 2013, according to data published Tuesday by the National Statistics and Information Office, or ONEI.
The figure, which includes income from the tourism sector for lodging, transportation, shopping, food, recreation and other areas, represents an increase of approximately 2 percent over 2012.
The areas of dining and lodging provided the most income for last year, contributing 38.9 percent and 31.5 percent of the total, respectively, while transportation provided 17 percent and retailing 8 percent.
Regarding the number of visitors, the communist island reported a slight increase in 2013 of 0.5 percent with 2.85 million foreign tourists coming to Cuba, short of the official forecast of 3 million.
Canada is the main country sending tourists to Cuba with more than a million travelers last year, followed by Britain and Germany.
France, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Russia and Venezuela, in that order, were also among the countries sending the most tourists to the island, according to ONEI.
Tourism is the second-biggest contributor of foreign currency earnings to Cuba after service exports.
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