Havana, Friday 22 de March de 2019 04:23 pm

Over 850 thousand people visited Cuba by cruise in 2018

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HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 21 (ACN) By the close of 2018, more than 850,000 cruise passengers would have Cuba as one of the stopovers for trips in the Caribbean, one of the main areas in the development of this type of tourism and where Havana in particular is the best destination for trips by boat, according to experts.
 
As the laws of their country prohibit them from traveling as tourists to the largest of the Antilles, let alone staying in their hotels, a significant part of the 605,406 North American visitors computed to date did so by that route, José Reynaldo Daniel Alonso, Director General of Development and Investments of the Ministry of Tourism, said.
 
In the process of recovery of this branch, affected by the intensification of the blockade and the impact of weather events, had a significant role cruises, which grew by 48 percent and until December 18 amounted to 817 thousand foreign travelers who made stopovers in Cuban coastal cities.
 
Before the 31st, more arrivals are expected through the port of Havana, the main point of entry for these trips, and now that the Caribbean is one of the areas in development of cruising, we are fortunate that 90 percent of its clients choose the Cuban capital and 73 percent buy excursions here, a strenght that the rest of the destinations in the region do not enjoy, explained the director.
 
But even though the level of activity of this modality and the number of Cubans living abroad who traveled to Cuba in 2018 increases, both indicators do not contribute to the concept of international tourists-days, since they do not spend the night in hotels, said Daniel Alonso, during a press conference today at the Iberostar Habana Riviera hotel.
 
Experts such as PhD José Luis Perelló Cabrera, advisor to the Ministry of Tourism, consider that the key to increasing the expenses of cruise passengers in the cities where they make stopovers is linked to offers on land.
 
In their opinion, new excursions with greater added value in correspondence with the interests and motivations of those tourists, the sale of souvenirs and quality crafts with a high level of authenticity, the security of the destinations visited and the preservation of the environment are the essential factors to enter, as a destination, in this very globalized and constantly growing market.
 
The irruption of Cuba in cruise ship tourism, with its indisputable cultural, historical and patrimonial attractions, together with an exuberant and preserved nature, is urgent to incorporate greater value to the offer on land, considers the outstanding researcher.
 
In the press conference the executive informed that in spite of the intensification of the blockade and the actions of the North American government so that its nationals do not travel to Cuba, among other setbacks, this year a record of international visitors of four million 750 thousand visitors is foreseen.
 
This figure represents a 1.3% growth compared to 2017, also in the midst of ups and downs such as the impact of atmospheric events in the first months, as it is from the summer that begins to recover the destiny of Cuba.

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