HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 11 (ACN) Cuba received 2 million 838 thousand 468 foreign tourists in 2012, a figure representing a new record, as well as the consolidation of the Caribbean destination despite the complex world economic situation.
The island's 4.5 percent tourism growth joins the general Caribbean trend and slightly surpasses the average world estimated figure of between 3 and 4 percent, according to Granma newspaper.
Major sources of tourists for Cuba are Canada with over one million vacationers for the second year in a row; Argentina, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Chile, China, Brazil and other countries.
Sun-and-Beach tourism continues to be the favorite modality for visitors, who have focused on tourist centers in Varadero, Santa Maria Key and Cayo Coco key.
Vacationers have also showed growing interest in tourist programs related to cultural and historic values, and nature. Other modalities like health tourism, events and incentives have also contributed to the diversification of the tourist sector, which expects to increase its contribution to the country's economy in 2013.
According to the World Tourism Organization, the sector saw important growth in the first eight months of 2012, with a record figure of 705 million international arrivals around the world.